Thursday, May 13, 2010

ICVA Advertising Campaign Scores Astonishing 28900% Return on Investment

When you look more closely at some of these economic impact numbers groups offer to claim their taxpayers subsidy pays big dividends, it's hard not to find them amusing.

This week we had the Hunden Strategic Partners report which supports the Capital Improvement Board's quest to get the public to support shelling $15 million or more per year to the Indiana Pacers. The claim was that 600,000 visitors for Pacers game generates $55 million in activity. So we're supposed to believe that every Pacers fan generates $91.67 in economic activity?

Not to be outdone, the Indianapolis Convention and Visitor's Association announced a $1.3 million ad campaign to attract visitors to our fair city with the claim of enormous benefits from last year's campaign. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports:
The Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association said Wednesday that it has launched a $1.3 million summer advertising campaign targeting eight Midwestern markets.

The campaign, which targets television, Internet, radio and billboard audiences, features a series of ads highlighting local attractions. It begins Monday and will continue through August.

Ads spotlight the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Zoo and the NCAA Hall of Champions.

The eight target markets: Chicago; Cincinnati; St. Louis; Columbus, Ohio; Louisville/Lexington, Ky.; Peoria/Decatur, Ill.; and Champaign/Bloomington, Ill.

Carmel-based Strategic Marketing & Research Inc. estimates that last year’s leisure travel campaign by ICVA induced 746,000 visitors to central Indiana and netted $289 in spending for every $1 spent in advertising. Last year’s campaign, however, ran only in Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Louisville.
To see the rest of the article click here.

So we're supposed to believe that Strategic Marketing & Research actually did a study and determined that 746,000 out-of-towners saw an ICVA ad and that motivated them to hop in their car and drive to Indianapolis? Yeah, right. I'd love to see the support for that study.

The funniest claim though is that the ICVA advertising campaign generated $289 in spending for every $1 spent. That is an astonishing 28,900% (that's a comma, not a period) return on the ICVA's investment. I have to wonder though, with that type of economic activity generated with ICVA's investment, why should the taxpayers have to subsidize the ICVA efforts at promoting the City? Businesses should be lined up to help out the ICVA's advertising efforts.


Marycatherine Barton said...

Tax payers should not have to pay for ICVA advertising. We are not their chumps.

Had Enough Indy? said...

You hit the nail on the head - the businesses that benefit (by however much they benefit)from the activities of the ICVA should be footing the bill. Not the taxpayers.

It sure would be fun to get hold of that report to see how they counted ICVA-encouraged visitors. Unfortunately, some on the Council will swallow those numbers without thinking how absurd they are.

We need a real study by impartial analysts - not these puff pieces.

varangianguard said...

If you "like" those kinds of metrics, then wait 'til you see their résumés!


Downtown Indy said...

If we gave $15 million to ICVA instead of the Pacers, we'd get back around $4.3 Billion.

Assuming their math and my math are both correct.

guy77money said...

D.I. Wow 4.3 Billion! That even trumps the Colts. They need to throw the new library into the advertising. A free fun place to take your kids, I'm sure that would average out to a couple of extra million!

Bill said...

The only business that will get anything out of this new campaign is the advertising agency that Mayor Ballard chose to do the work.

When you seee it you will not believe it.

Paul, was it a no bid contact ?????...once again???