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Indiana unveils new tourism marketing campaign, 'IN Indiana'

Brandon Smith
IPB News
From left, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles, Indiana Destination Development Corporation Secretary Elaine Bedel, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and Gov. Eric Holcomb help unveil the state's new tourism marketing campaign.

State officials want Indiana’s new tourism campaign – “IN Indiana” – to be a “really big megaphone” that helps people promote the Hoosier State.

Elaine Bedel is the head of the state's tourism agency, the Indiana Destination Development Corporation. She called “IN Indiana” a kind of headline. Anyone can use the template, for free, to pair with their own slogans that help promote Indiana attractions.

“‘Life Is Better IN Indiana’ – speaking to our quality of life and place and that Hoosier pride we all have," Bedel said. "‘Build Your Future’ encourages our graduates to stay right here and find that first or second job.”

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Gov. Eric Holcomb said the campaign is meant to be flexible and adaptable in a way that can be magnified beyond the state government’s efforts.

“Now, it’s going to have the power of one voice in Indiana, with all the diversity and all the options available at the grassroots level, at the ground level,” Holcomb said.

That adaptability can be a double-edged sword, however, which Holcomb acknowledged.

"While we encourage people to participate and be very active in this marketing campaign for the state of Indiana ... we'll have to make sure that everyone's a good actor," Holcomb said. "Because it's just natural that people are going to be – there will be some who will want to distort the true intent of this campaign."

Holcomb said there will be a licensing agreement people have to sign when they download the marketing campaign template.

Indiana paid an outside firm already under contract to develop the campaign using existing budget dollars. And it will spend $3.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds to promote the state, using the new campaign.

Bedel said the state will focus its efforts on Chicago, Louisville and St. Louis. And she acknowledged that the campaign can only have so much impact, depending on the funding the state puts behind it.

"So, we're going to measure what we can within those entities and see what the returns are," Bedel said. "And hopefully that will convince the legislators that, yes, we need to put more behind this so that we can go out even farther."

Bedel said the measurements Indiana will study will include digital engagement and how many people visit the state when targeted with the new campaign.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.