Ohio ad campaign targets Seattle ‘tech bros’ — questions why someone would want to stay in a big coastal city

Ohio ad campaign targets Seattle ‘tech bros’ — questions why someone would want to stay in a big coastal city

The State of Ohio really wants Seattleites to move to the Buckeye state — even the tech bros.

A new ad campaign from JobsOhio airing during the March Madness basketball tournament specifically targets Seattleites, questioning why someone would want to stay in an expensive coastal city when Ohio beckons.

The ad features a befuddled techie from Seattle by the name of Yuchi who tells a group counseling session that he’s returning to Seattle after networking and seeking venture capital in Ohio’s tech scene, sparking the counselor of the session to note that “Ohio denial is real.”

“My office in Seattle is sick,” Yuchi tells the group. “I’ve just been working from home for like two years now, and I realize I didn’t really know why I was living there anymore.”

The narrator kicks in to declare: “They always come around to Ohio in the end, even the tech bros.” 

Let’s pause here for one second to reflect on the authenticity of the ad, as the record needs to be set straight.

  • First, Ohio is hardly a destination for Seattle entrepreneurs seeking capital.
  • And, secondly, the Buckeye state — with nearly four million more residents than Washington state — attracted $2.3 billion in venture capital last year across 181 deals, according to the Venture Monitor report. Washington state attracted $8.5 billion across 549 deals.  

The ad directs people to join the conversation at #LastStrawStory on social media, with some less than flattering reactions already popping up. The new JobsOhio campaign also has similar themed ads targeting Austin and Los Angeles, with one featuring a recent Ohio transplant by the name of Graham who laments losing out on his fourth bid on a house in Austin to a tech bro.

The JobsOhio YouTube page offers a bit more insight on the ad campaign:

If you’ve been working from home for the past two years, you might be wondering what you’re still doing in your big, coastal city. So are we. When you tweet us your #LastStrawStory during March Madness or visit OhioIsForLeaders.com, you’ll learn more about life in the Buckeye State, from comparing cities like Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Toledo, to imagining yourself in a great new job with a short commute. We’ll save a seat for you in Ohio… yes, even for the tech bros.

We’ve seen this on-the-nose approach from the Buckeyes in the past. JobsOhio also placed billboards around Seattle in the past year, including one that said: “Live where you can actually save for a rainy day.”

Editor’s note: I spent the first 18 years of my life in Ohio, and still visit a few times each year. It’s a fine place. But I’ll stick by this maxim: “Ohio is a nice place to be from.”

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