If you haven't, you're missing out.
Let me repeat that. If you haven't been to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, you're missing out.
Let's back this up a bit. In a New York Times story Sunday (July 12, 2009), the Times talked about the thriving creative community of Minneapolis and their efforts to unite a large number of their creative agencies in order to better highlight the creative talent Minneapolis features. Another interesting element to this movement is the fact that they are also going to emphasize this newfound unity in a website called "MinneADpolis, the City of Advertising" (http://www.minneadpolis.com/).
That's all information you can get from the Times story, so read that when you have a chance. But there's more to it than just the fact that they're working together to make things happen...
Minneapolis is tired of being overlooked as a hot spot and hub for the creative marketing, advertising and PR industry. There are numerous worldwide agencies located in Minneapolis producing great work every single day (and plenty of smaller shops creating equally impressive work, locally and nationally). Frankly, many of these agencies feel they are getting glossed over by people assuming the only good creative work comes out of New York, California and Chicago.
Now that's all fine and good. City pride, pride in local work and agencies, etc. Sure that's important. But what's more important is this:
They're actually DOING something about it.
Keep in mind, this isn't some happy-go-lucky, "we're all friends here" realm of rainbows and sunshine. These are all companies who directly compete for local clients as well as national and worldwide clients. Whether it's the larger firms going for larger clients across the country or the smaller agencies who are aiming high for those same large clients (as well as smaller, local clients), these 27 squads certainly have a reason to ruthlessly fight for every client they can get.
But they also recognize that connecting and working together will do more for their own agencies, their regional advertising and creative community, and the city of Minneapolis as a whole than they can achieve trying to scrap it out as individuals against NYC, Chi-Town, Cali and other major advertising markets.
Will there be problems? Probably. Will there be substantial success in the long run? Most likely. Is the creative community of Minneapolis attempting to do something that could change the game for "smaller" creative communities across the nation?
Which brings us back to the beginning.
Sioux Falls is a fantastic place. Not only did CNN rank Sioux Falls as the 45th Best Place to Live and Launch in 2009 (citing that "it costs an estimated 45% less to open a business here than in New York"), but it's also been named Forbes' #1 "Best Small Place For Business And Careers"... FIVE years in a row (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009).
More importantly, between the stellar freelance community and strong presence of talented agencies, Sioux Falls is home to some of the most creative minds in this country (not region...country). I know I'm a little biased, but I genuinely believe there is an overwhelming number of extremely talented creative people who could do amazing work for major companies nationwide if given the opportunity. Yes, that was a ton of adjectives. They were all sincere.
So what's the point? Well, as we in this region know, the Sioux Falls creative community is a competitive community. We want to do the best work for the best people and companies here. We want to do great campaigns for the biggest clients on the eastern side of the state, the western side of the state and everywhere in between.
I just wonder, if we work together a little bit more, whether we could be doing great campaigns for the biggest clients in the country.
Do I think we'll be forming a "South DakotAD" group tomorrow and have national clients pour in by the dozens? No.
But we here at Deep Bench are willing to get the bus rolling now. Drop us a line if you want to come along for the ride and help us make our great creative community even greater.
After all...I did say that if you haven't been to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, you're missing out. It's up to us to make the rest of the world realize how true that is.
What do you think? Does Sioux Falls have a chance to become a national hub of creative work from creative agencies? Are we destined to forever be considered a "smaller market" compared to other major cities? Share your thoughts below in the comments, on Twitter, or on Facebook.
(Note: This post was originally posted on my work blog at http://www.thedeepbench.com/.
Photos by jennlynndesign.