By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
Chattanooga is famous for getting a team together to pursue something new, and an irreverent video series that the Chattanooga Chamber produced in concert with other organizations is drawing a good deal of attention in entrepreneurial circles around the country.
The inaugural video, titled “Chattanooga, Literally Perfect – Mouth Time,” premiered March 9, and a second installment, “Chattanooga, Literally Perfect – Undo Button,” premiered less than two weeks later.
“Both are focused on the fact that we have 10 gigabits a second,” Sybil Topel, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, said in reference to its “Gig City” brand. “We are promoting the infrastructure we have and targeting those who want to use it.”
Most of the readers of teknovation.biz are aware that Chattanooga had the first gigabit network in the country, thanks to EPB, and still reaches the most number of locations, according to Ken Hays at The Enterprise Center.
Over the past several years, Chattanooga has captured considerable national exposure for the network, the city’s focus on innovation, and the “GIGTANK’ accelerator.
“The two videos are very strategic,” Topel says, explaining the Chamber and its partners knew exactly the types of individuals they were targeting – women entrepreneurs, app developers, international companies, and business owners considering relocating.
The inaugural video, “Mouth Time” for short, is a tongue-in-cheek story about a start-up trying to build an app that uses a mobile phone’s built-in pressure sensitivity to rate “funky lip action and connect with other canoodlers.” The effort was stymied on the West Coast, so the entrepreneur moved to Chattanooga where she found great success.
“Now, we’re not saying that Chattanooga made everything perfect,” the moderator says at the end. The female entrepreneur, known as Sadie, chimed in to say, “Chattanooga literally made everything perfect.”
A similar theme is struck in the second video, only this time it is an older male entrepreneur who moves from Scandinavia.
The Chamber coordinated the project, but Topel quickly notes it was a team effort.
“My role was to greenlight the concept and convince our CEO and other senior managers to say ‘yes’ to the scripts and to coordinate with three different PR and consulting agencies in addition to our creative team,” she explains.
The Chamber’s top economic development executive was also heavily involved.
“Charles Wood, VP of Economic Development, helped us create the concept and develop target audience guidelines that fit his entrepreneur recruiting strategy,” Topel says. “The types of fake businesses featured are the type we seek to attract – scalable companies.”
In addition to Topel and Wood, the team included Pathfinder Films (Lucky and Leif Ramsey), who created the script and directed both videos, and Papercut Interactive (Jenny Hill), who created the landing page for the videos. DCI, VaynerMedia, and Waterhouse PR, representing the Chattanooga Airport Authority, also played key roles. Others from the Chamber staff included Jeremy Henderson, Creative Projects Manager, and three others – Eric Lisica, Kaia Moore, and Amanda Ellis.
How have the videos been received?
“The reaction has been pretty astonishing,” Topel says. Through early April, the inaugural video had garnered 10,212 views on YouTube and reached about 15,500 people. Both videos had about the same number of impressions (750 to 800), total engagements (23), and retweets on Twitter.