Leo Burnetts entry stars a local celebrity, the singer Kid Rock.

Leo Burnett's entry stars a local celebrity, the singer Kid Rock.

The good folks at Time have set up shop here in Detroit and are covering the city for a year with the innovative “Assignment Detroit” While the project is intended to give the rest of the nation a better understanding of the City of Detroit aside from the misconception portrayed in the mass media during the automotive bailout we find the assignment has begun to fall into the same mire of negativity.. While there has been some interesting articles about the possibilities and potential in this great city.. they have managed to dig up some typical bad eggs that could be found in any major city.. Of course the issue of race was raised by the Editorial Board of the Free Press.

So in an interesting maneuver, Time is making an effort to improve the image of Detroit, and recruit young professionals to come to the city and help with the rebirth. Interestingly they are not making the effort through thought provokling journalism, but through advertising, as a contest among a number of local ad aagencies developing campaigns that will run on the pages of Time Inc. magazines

Several advertising agencies with offices in the Detroit area were asked to develop campaigns; five agreed to take part. Their work is to appear in the Dec. 7 issue of Fortune, due Nov. 23, as well as on three Web sites: cnnmoney.com, fortune.com and time.com. (The value of the ad pages that Time Inc. is devoting to the contest in Fortune is estimated at $400,000.)

While the idea is encouraging in the idea of promotioing our city and bringing us some good publicity, it’s still sad that of the agencies that were invited, some had to turn the project down as they are going out of business, those that could offer their efforts had some time on their hands admittedly.

As marketing goes thi is a nice shot in the arm for Detroit.. Just wish there was more involvement nationwide than just the same standard bearers cheerleading the same message that no one south of the MI border or north of Eight mile really wants to hear.

Read the NY Times Article about the Time Inc. Project here