New York City is one of the advertising meccas of the world, and now, one company is harnessing that — in hopes of getting people to leave the city. Billboards are popping up in hipster neighborhoods, urging people to do something a little unusual: move to Detroit.
Since the Great Recession, Detroit has been a fairly troubled city and has endured both a huge population (read: revenue) loss as well as widespread infrastructure issues. Now, one ad campaign is touting the Motor City as a hip new place to live which is full of opportunity.
Billboards in Midtown, SoHo, and Bushwick (four billboards altogether) are all encouraging hipsters, artists, and young creatives to move to Detroit — “just west of Bushwick.”
Philip Kafka of Prince Media Co., the boutique ad agency that is responsible for the ad campaign says that Detroit is an interesting place that could offer more opportunities than New York.
“I think Detroit is a compelling place for people to be moving,” Kafka told Business Insider in an interview. “I can do things there as a young guy that I could never imagine doing in New York or any other major market in the US.”
Kafka is slightly biased — according to Uproxx, he is opening a Thai restaurant in Detroit called KATOI and is in the market for a kitchen staff. He also owns several properties around the city.
Many people in America never make a major move — about 40% of people never move away from the place they’re born. It seems that now, however, due to the rising living costs of popular large cities like New York and Portland, artists are making their way to those with burgeoning art and music scenes, which is precisely what Detroit has to offer.
GoLocalPDX, a Portland, OR online newspaper, reports that hipsters in Portland are already making the move to Detroit in exasperation over increased living costs and the rampant closings of music venues. According to Realtor Larry Else, he’s sold about five homes in Detroit to transplants from Portland in the last year.
“Whenever I talk to people from Portland, it’s ‘Portland isn’t the same anymore,” Else said.
Whether it’s from the reaches of the west coast in Portland or the east coast in NYC, Detroit might become the inexpensive Millennial mecca that young creatives have been looking for.