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“WKRP in Scottsdale” campaign half-right

City’s a great place to play AND work.

We love Scottsdale. Honest.Ask anyone who knows us and they’ll tell you that we believe that Scottsdale, AZ is one of the best place on the planet. Our Scottsdale Arrivals site we created specifically to promote all things Scottsdale, that’s how much we believe in this place.

And it’s exactly because we are such huge supporters of this city that we feel we have the right to not only promote, but to critique and criticize some of the things that happen here. We believe that the ability for “self-assessment” (or municipal assessment in this case) is not only admirable, but absolutely necessary for any city that wants to evolve and improve its brand; and we are all about that. So, in an effort to provide perspective and justify our own existence, we feel the need to bring your attention to the most recent Scottsdale advertising campaign (see image to your left).

For those of you who may not be familiar with it, the campaign has been around for well over a year and it was created by a local ad agency. It features an impressively executed print ad and an equally high-end and big-budget 30-second television commercial. The target audience appears to be 30-something “yuppies and metrosexuals” who want to come and frolic in the desert while they channel their inner cowboy and cowgirl. This is the ad and you can watch the commercial here.

Before we say any more, it’s important that we fully disclose that Scottsdale Arrivals is brought to you by Runway 21 Studios and that we are a full-service ad agency and production company. As an ad agency, we are acutely aware of inherent risks in the creative process. For one of the most blatantly hilarious riffs on a concept gone bad see Tom Hanks in BIG, where his child re-incarnate sits in a marketing meeting, with his hand held high and puzzle look writ large on his face repeating the harrowing phrase, “But, I don’t GET it?!” Who, as a creative, hasn’t had to deal with that?

While we do have some questions about the talent in the campaign we’ve dubbed “WKRP in Scottsdale” (we are having an incredibly hard time getting that 1980’s, Lonnie Anderson vehicle “WKRP in Cincinnati” out of our heads and we apologize in advance for embedding that theme song in your playlist!), we “get it”. We get the fact that to people around the world, Scottsdale is exactly that place: where successful, young people come to swill exotic martinis, play golf, shop and connect. Scottsdale is one of the country’s top ten vacation destinations and an internationally-recognized luxury brand. The Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is all about filling hotels, promoting restaurants, pushing merchants and merchandise and generating sales and bed-tax revenue and we wish them all the best.

Our hope is that while the CVB is busy pushing this as a place to visit, someone is pushing equally hard to get business-people to consider it as a place to stay. We think that there’s much more to be done to add some depth to the Scottsdale brand. This is an excellent place to do business and the Scottsdale, Airpark is primed and ready to embrace new businesses and companies who chose to locate, relocate or expand here. We have everything a small or emerging business could want: prime office space, modest operating expenses, a young and energetic workforce, amenities like no place else and the all the cachet the Scottsdale name carries with it. Every day we come to work we are reminded of the number of small to mid-sized businesses that have chosen to make the Scottsdale Airpark home. And we wonder whose job it is to remind other entrepreneurs and executives that while Scottsdale is a great place to come and visit – it’s an even better place to come and stay.

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