Is Dallas the new Hot Spot on the US Advertising Map?

Dallas, Texas.  Population: 1.3 million, the 9th largest city in the United States.  Known as the home to Maverick icons like J.R. Ewing, Jessica Simpson, Mark Cuban, Willie Nelson, Kinky Friedman, Melissa Rycroft, Laura Miller and Jerry Jones.  Not to mention that it hosts the Annual State Fair of Texas, ‘Texas vs. Okalahoma’ Red River Shoot Out and in 2011 will welcome the 45th Super Bowl to Cowboy Stadium.

Business is booming.  The city’s American Advertising Federation chapter ranks as the 5th largest AAF club in the country, following shortly behind New York, and Los Angeles.  Interest in relocating courting efforts targeted at Fortune 500 brands is at an all time high, with reportedly 20 to 30 relationships under way for the next 5 years.  When they say folks tend to do things bigger in Texas – they mean business, and that’s exactly what’s headed this way when Q1 kicks off in January.

Are the top CEOs and Chairmans looking to move to Dallas in the coming months because they have a hankering for incredible Bar-B-Q, a fixation for cowboy boots, or just can’t get enough of the delightful, seasonal weather?  Perhaps.  But those things alone, wonderful as they may be, retain surface value.  When looking at the bigger picture, Dallas is a safe bet to many CEOs because it’s sustaining a growing population, managing a resourceful infrastructure, and advocating environmental and urban development efforts.  The Texas State motto is ‘Friendship’ and when you do business with people who smile and offer a handshake, things seem to go well better from the beginning.  Dallas is in the mood to do business and they want to welcome you with a big Texan How’d Do Ya Do Sir/Ma’am? Welcome to our great and humble state.”

For marketing folks (and really across all industries), one undeniable hot button topic, which still leaves the industry shaken, and shuttering is the unemployment rate.  Jobs are hard to come by even in these times when we supposedly see the harsh recession veil slowly lifting and recovery moving in.  The BBC news reported just last week that the US unemployment rate had unexpectedly risen back to 9.8% – a dark statistic still hanging over many people out of work.

But many Texans that I know are choosing to make Margaritas out of the lemons we’ve all been given.  An optimistic and entrepreneurial spirit is part of our inherited character.  We’ve got an airport the size of Manhattan, we aren’t afraid to embrace change, and for the most part we know how to take care of ourselves because we had to once upon a time when we were our own country for 10 years between 1836 and 1846.  Indeed, it’s fair to observe that Dallas is quickly becoming a rising ‘Lone Star’ player across the communications industry and in the United States, so it’s only natural to wonder – what other big plans are they making down there in the South West?

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