A Publication of WTVP

It’s the third quarter of 2001. At that time, the economy was in recession and there was great concern about layoffs, the local economy, and growth for the tri-county area. Then, on September 11, the world changed. Forever.

I remember clearly the hours and days after those tragic events, when heartbreak and fear began to turn into acceptance and, finally, recovery. And the major question was “Where do we go from here?”

And, of course, the major economic issue of recession, locally and nationally, remained. In fact, the expectation was that it could get a lot worse. To recover and to really move on, in part we had to focus on growing the local economy. And that was the very beginning, the genesis of the It’s All Right Here campaign.

The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce immediately began to ask what we could do to help stabilize the local economy so the members, and in fact the whole business community, could begin to move forward. The Communications Committee (now called the Business Promotion Committee) recommended a media campaign be created to help remind people that finding ways of keeping the local economy strong was the best and quickest way to help induce that stability. That’s what we set out to do.

It’s All Right Here is basically a “buy local” marketing campaign simply intended to remind people almost any service, type of food, entertainment, retail item, shop, store, repair service—almost anything anyone in the greater Peoria area could ever need or want is, well, all right here.

What makes this campaign unique isn’t just the creative content of the commercials and advertisements—though we think the campaign is, in fact, as creative as it is effective, but more on that in a moment. It’s the spirit of cooperation from a number of resources and organizations to support it that makes this as unique a campaign as any I’ve ever seen or been involved in.

First, five area Chambers of Commerce are working together to promote business and to add value of local purchasing. Chillicothe, East Peoria, Pekin, Peoria, and Washington are pooling their member companies to be highlighted in this unique and different advertising campaign. Now, a sixth chamber has added their resources, too—the Peoria Heights Chamber of Commerce.

The advertising features a witty, fun-loving spokesperson, Dave Tilley, with the challenge to find all of the opportunities in central Illinois. Each spot or ad will focus on a specific topic, such as “Where is the best place to take the kids for an afternoon of fun?” or “Where should I buy computer equipment for my office?” The ads will feature many of the businesses in central Illinois offering that product or service. The purpose isn’t just to say central Illinois is a great place to live, work, and play, but anything the average consumer may need or want is all right here.

So keep your eyes and ears open for these truly creative commercials. Remember the next time you need a service, clothing, furniture, or repairs around the house, there’s no need to head out of town on the weekend to find it because chances are, It’s All Right Here! IBI