Georgia Marketing Summit — My Opening Remarks

Good morning, my name is Michael Hunter, Chief Marketing Officer of BBDO advertising here in Atlanta. Thank you to IC Summits for creating this event, and for inviting me to deliver these opening remarks.

BBDO is the largest agency in the U.S., and we have offices in nearly 90 countries globally. We’re proud to have a strong presence here in the South. Choosing Atlanta as our home base here was easy, because it’s the geographic hub of the region, and because of the great clients we’ve had here over the years, starting in 1951 with Delta Airlines, right up to present day with AT&T and the Georgia Lottery.

At BBDO, our mantra is The Work. The Work. The Work. All that matters is the work we do for our clients — and the degree to which it impacts their business results. While that work may show up in different ways as media plans become increasingly digital, our goal remains the same: to create the world’s best commercial content in order to grow our clients’ businesses.

Everyone in this room has a vested interest in selling Georgia — and Atlanta — whether it’s to prospective clients, employees or even our friends, families, and ourselves on those days when it’s 101 degrees and humid and we ask why the heck we’re here. But what an easy sell it is! CNBC ranked Georgia its top state for business in the last few years. Companies are moving here for the business-friendly environment, including Mercedes-Benz USA and Porsche USA. While the Atlanta area is Top 10 in terms of population, it’s in the Top 2 of Most Wired and Most Socially Networked Cities (according to Twitter). And closer to home in our industry, Georgia has become a “Hollywood SouthEast” that has surpassed even Hollywood in terms of the #1 destination for shooting major film productions. Georgia is tied for #1 in favorable film tax credits in the nation. Not a bad place to shoot an ad, huh?

A little bit about today. The purpose of the event is to bring together a diverse group of brands from GA to come together for a great day of networking and community. The organizers have done a great job in ensuring you hear from a mix of businesses. In the first bucket are what I call Atlanta-branded businesses with big footprints, like the world-leading City of Atlanta Airport, Atlanta Conventions & Visitors Bureau, and a couple of my favorites, the Atlanta Hawks & our brand new Atlanta United Major League Soccer franchise. Because I really like basketball, and I’m a soccer fanatic trapped in a basketball player’s body. In another bucket are global powerhouse brands with Atlanta headquarters, such as Georgia-Pacific, UPS, and The Home Depot.

You’ll listen in on — and contribute questions to — a series of panel discussions. To lead our first panel on Georgia, Industry & Community, please join me in welcoming our first moderator.