Time Inc. launches phase two of 'Assignment Detroit'

NEW YORK: Time Inc. recently launched "Selling Detroit," an initiative that aims to recruit young creative talent to the financially battered city.

NEW YORK: Time Inc. recently launched “Selling Detroit,” an initiative that aims to recruit young creative talent to the financially battered city. The effort is the second phase of the company's promotional program, called Assignment Detroit, which seeks to boost Detroit's image via local events and editorial coverage by Time Inc. properties.

For this new phase, the ad sales team tapped five Michigan-based advertising agencies to enter creative material that could include a print campaign, Web site, and/or video, in a contest. All agencies, including McCann Erickson, GlobalHue, Campbell-Ewald, Doner, and Leo Burnett agreed to donate the materials to the city.

“Our ad-sales team wanted to take it to next level, so we conceived of a contest,” said Daniel Kile, director of PR for the Time Inc. news group. “The criteria was this is not a tourism campaign; it's about repopulating the city, attracting young creative talent to the city.”

When the group launched Assignment Detroit this past summer, John Huey, Time editor-in-chief, wrote on Time.com, “Our challenge is to bring a sense of surprise, discovery, enlightenment, horror, joy, inspiration and fun to the reality of Detroit. And that reality is that Detroit, like all other cities, is human.”

The campaigns will appear in the company's Fortune issue that hits shelves November 23, and people can currently vote at an Assignment Detroit microsite. The winner will be announced at a Detroit awards ceremony on December 2.

Time's internal PR team is promoting the project via online content and local outreach in Michigan. It's also leveraging its editorial outlets' Twitter feeds.

Though the company is not working with any other Detroit-based organizations to promote the campaign or city, Kile said, “We're encouraging the city and the ad agencies to do that and get involved.”

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