With the proposal deadline a mere week away, cities all over the continent are lining up their pitches to be the next home for Amazon’s HQ2.
We’ve already seen some ideas to get Amazon’s attention that have been pretty, um… creative. Tucson, Arizona, sent a 21-foot saguaro cactus. Georgia city Stonecrest is offering to change it’s official name to “Amazon.” Birmingham, Alabama, created a goofy Twitter bot. Carl’s Jr. weirdly campaigned for Amazon to buy the restaurant chain, but that might not have a connection to HQ2 (or reality).
Perhaps the most enjoyable pitch, however, comes from the Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, who is reviewing 1,000 Amazon products, giving them all five stars, and tweeting about it.
Today, he reviewed toothpaste.
— Mayor Sly James (@MayorSlyJames) October 13, 2017
Yesterday, it was staples.
— Mayor Sly James (@MayorSlyJames) October 12, 2017
Mayor Sly James seems to be having fun with this.
— Mayor Sly James (@MayorSlyJames) October 11, 2017
He’s also getting the community into the effort by having them post their reasons for KC to be home to HQ2 with the hastag #KC5Stars.
Mayor James said private money was used to make the purchase, and that the the 1,000 Amazon items will be donated to charity.
Mayor James' office explained the HQ2 push in a press release. See below:
Mayor Sly James uses Amazon’s ubiquitous review system to highlight Kansas City’s greatest assets
Kansas City Metro Area – (October 11, 2017) – Online retail giant, Amazon, is currently looking for the ideal city to set up its second headquarters and Kansas City has found a way to use Amazon’s own product reviews to make its case. Mayor Sly James, known for his social media savvy, recently purchased 1,000 items on Amazon.com. But here’s the kicker: within each product review, Mayor James tells Kansas City’s story, using a stat, fact or story about his city.
“It’s no secret we believe Amazon is a great fit for Kansas City,” said Mayor James. “So the idea was easy – make Kansas City the most-well reviewed city on Amazon.”
On Wednesday, Mayor James tweeted out his reviews and released a series of videos covering his favorite products and points about Kansas City. In one, he reviews wind chimes and ties in Kansas City’s affordable housing costs:
When it comes to my house and my housewares, there’s nothing I value more than bang for my buck. I live in beautiful Kansas City where the average home price is just $122K, so I know luxe living doesn’t have to cost a ton. That’s why at $14.99, these wind chimes are music to my ears. They have a soothing timbre, a stylish look, a durable aluminum construction, and they catch the wind just as beautifully as far more expensive models. I’ll tell you, when I’m sitting out in the backyard of my reasonably priced home in a safe neighborhood with great schools and these chimes start to tinkle, it feels like the whole world is singing just for me.
In other reviews, Mayor James turns an earnest analysis of a label maker into a story about Kansas City’s highly-educated workforce, a detailed look at a car stereo bluetooth adapter into an ode to Kansas City’s open infrastructure and short commute times and even transitioned a FiberOne Cereal review into a look at the nation’s leading fiber internet hub.
“Putting our three key strengths – our thriving entrepreneurial culture, our highly-educated workforce and our award-winning quality of life – into a bulleted list might not work, but putting them in a review, now that’s what people trust,” said Mayor James.
Mayor James is asking Kansas City residents from both sides of the state line to use the hashtag #KC5Stars to tell Amazon why they love Kansas City and why HQ2 belongs here.
“If this helps us get in the finals of Amazon HQ2, that’s great,” said Mayor James. “If not, we’ll still be proud of this city’s future, and a few of us will be a wind chime or two richer.”
Mayor James is donating each of the 1,000 items to local charities across Kansas City.