Bring A to B campaign helped land Amazon distribution center in Jefferson County


Amazon hopes to have its new, 855 thousand square foot distribution center ready in Bessemer in July, 2019.

The company’s decision to look at locating in the Birmingham metro did not happen by accident.

You may remember last year, giant Amazon boxes were scattered around Birmingham. The campaign titled, Bring A to B targeted Amazon's new HQ2.

While Birmingham was not chosen for the new headquarters, the nationally recognized campaign did put the city on Amazon's radar.

“We knew to get HQ2 was a long shot, but we felt that investment of raising our profile was well for it,” said Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington. “I was told in my first meeting directly with Amazon this Winter that once the group reviewed our Bring A to B proposal, immediately people started googling Birmingham and they said we need to find out more about this community.”

Ford Wiles, the Chief Creative Officer at Big Communications who crafted the Bring A to B campaign, says that was all part of his plan.

“Every city in America was competing for this,” Wiles said. “And Birmingham was kind of a longshot. So I thought anyway we could get attention for ourselves.”

And did he ever. When Birmingham decided to compete for HQ2, Wiles says the big box idea just popped into his head.

Oversized Amazon packages were built and put in high profile places like Railroad Park and the Pizitz Building.

“I guess the vision from the beginning was I really wanted the city to wake up, and it look like Amazon had delivered these boxes overnight,” said Wiles. “So that was a big part of their size and scale to kind of surprise and delight the community on that day.”

Many posed with the boxes, tagging #BringAtoB on social media. Also, people could press large dash buttons in town to tweet at Amazon, touting all Birmingham has to offer.

Now, Amazon will be able to experience Birmingham through its new Bessemer distribution center, a move still satisfying Big's mission to bring A to B.

“We’ll take any B,” said Wiles. “As long as it’s located in Birmingham or Bessemer. What’s good for Birmingham is good for Bessemer and what’s good for Bessemer is good for Birmingham.”

The project expected to create at least 15 hundred jobs, puts a smile on Wiles' face.

“Anytime you can take your craft and it creates a positive change in the world, it’s the greatest outcome,” said Wiles. “To create jobs and for Amazon, one of the most respected companies in the world, to come to our city is a huge win.”

Wiles' work is paying off in more ways than one. He just got back from Chicago, where he received an ADDY award for his work on the campaign.

"But for me, the real award is job creation, economic development for our city," said Wiles. "We love Birmingham. Our passion is to make a difference in making a living and this one for sure delivered on both of those."

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