Wisconsin launches campaign to steal Chicago talent

Look out, Chicago, Wisconsin is trying to steal your millennials. The state just launched its first-ever marketing campaign to attract talent across state lines.

It's no secret millennials are the most apt to make a career or life change. Chicago is just an hour and a half away from Milwaukee with a high concentration of that age group. Over the next six months, millennials in the Windy City will find they're wanted in Wisconsin.

"We have to do this now, it's imperative," said Tricia Braun with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Braun said the $1 million advertising campaign is in response to a state study which shows millennials are choosing to live elsewhere.

"With the demographic shifts and the declining population, we have to retain what we have here in terms of our workforce," Braun said.

In an effort get 20-somethings to consider the Dairy State, Chicago millennials will find ads hitting on the pain-points of living in a big city.

"It's cost of living and commute times," Braun said. "Number one and number two."

WEDC's marketing strategy compares struggles everyday life in Chicago compared to the perks of living in a smaller city in Wisconsin.

"What they'll find is the wages aren't that terribly different in Wisconsin, but the cost of living is a lot less," she said.

The state's campaign is all-encompassing with commercials on TV and targeted ads through social media. Ads can also be found on Chicago trains, health clubs, even bars and restaurants.

"All of the paid media over the next six months will create over 250 million impressions within the target audience," said WEDC employee Kelly Lietz.

Lietz says Chicago millennials will just be the focus of phase one of their campaign. Their next ads will target UW alumni to return to the state for their careers.

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