North Carolina launches ad campaign in Seattle to keep Amazon interested

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RALEIGH, N.C. — When people are walking, biking or driving to work in Seattle for their morning commute, chances are they’re learning a little more about North Carolina on the way.

It’s part of the “NC Next Firsts” campaign to highlight the history of innovation in North Carolina, in hopes of attracting Amazon’s HQ2. The Tar Heel state already topped CNBC’s list as the best fit for the tech giant’s new headquarters and more recently landed the top spot on Forbes list of best states to do business.

The campaign is a collaboration between the Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. They’ll be spending between $90,000 and $95,000 on bus and digital ads.

“North Carolinians really embrace firsts and we are a state that is eager to welcome innovative companies and we love companies like Amazon that are also really creative and innovative, so who knows what kind of first they might create here if they were to chose North Carolina for their HQ2,” Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for Communications and External Affairs Beth Gargan said. “The collateral and the materials that we created it’s sort of evergreen and it’s not focused on one company per say so we’ll use that information again.”

The ads started popping up in early November. A spokeswoman at the Charlotte Regional Partnership says Amazon will likely not release it’s shortlist of cities to land HQ2 until early next year.

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