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ThinkOneKC Campaign -- An Overview
KCADC set the stage for city branding in 1994 with its SmartCities marketing effort. SmartCities focused on elevating the region’s strong tech and telecom industry. The effort was hugely successful, but 10 years later, Greater Kansas City was ready for an update.
The region was on the rise. Kansas City was making its way up the charts as one of the best U.S. cities for business. Communities across the region were planning billions in new investments. Companies began to expand and the region’s economic outlook was promising.
It was time for a renewed emphasis on regional cooperation. We needed to leverage our assets to attract even more new investments and jobs. After all, companies looking to expand or relocate look at regions not individual communities. Our case for the region, our portfolio of offerings was now stronger than ever.
By focusing on our region’s catchy initials, “KC,” our many “Kansas Cities” could all relate. And, we were in good company – only three other cities are well known by their initials – New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
By reinforcing "KC" as the recognized moniker for our region, we would make a bold positioning statement among other world-class metros, showing a confidence and assertiveness in repositioning our metro area.
Unveiling the Campaign
The OneKC and ThinkKC campaigns kicked off in early 2004. Using nearly 20 Lamar billboards, KCADC created a buzz campaign asking area residents to “Think.” Three weeks later, “ThinkOneKC.”
The region’s mayors, county officials and key business leaders unveiled the metro’s new logo April 14, 2004 at Liberty Memorial.
KCADC began an aggressive grassroots effort giving more than 150 presentations to groups and organizations across the metro. The overall message: “Together we are stronger. We are all KC.”
Area leaders signed the Declaration of Interdependence. Stateline Road became OneKC Way. Obie Media created a OneKC bus. KCADC launched a KC merchandise line. More than 200 area corporations and organizations co-branded with the KC icon. Organizations even worked “KC” into their logos.
The red circle with the catchy initials, “KC”, was everywhere.
Gaining Campaign Recognition
Nationally, KCADC’s clients recognized its efforts. It was top of mind to “ThinkKC.” The metro was awarded with new jobs and millions of dollars in new investment - the payoff when a region thinks, acts and works as one.
The momentum for the OneKC and ThinkKC campaigns hasn’t slowed since 2004. Pick up any publication in the metro in you will see the KC icon.
The region is undergoing a major transformation. The plans from 2003 are now reality.
KC has given us a unified sense of place. A sense of pride.
Together we are stronger.
The United States of Kansas City. 50-plus communities, 18 counties, two states – OneKC.