Hamilton hopes to rise above Amazon pack with the slogan 'Welcome to unstoppable'

Calgary put ads on Seattle sidewalks and says it would fight a bear if Amazon chooses it as a second headquarters. Detroit encourages Amazon to "move here, move the world." And Hamilton hopes to lure the online retail giant with a slogan of its own.
Mayor Fred Eisenberger showed off the Amazon bid book, and a video with the "We are unstoppable" slogan, at city hall Thursday. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Calgary put ads on Seattle sidewalks and says it would fight a bear if Amazon chooses the Alberta city as a second headquarters. Detroit encourages Amazon to "move here, move the world."

And Hamilton hopes to lure the online retail giant with a slogan of its own: "Welcome to unstoppable."

Mayor Fred Eisenberger unveiled a small portion of Hamilton's Amazon bid ("#Hamazon") Thursday, a day after the city sent off a bid package that includes Burlington and Niagara.

The bid book has more than 200 pages, with tabs such as "community and culture" and "incentives." (Eisenberger wouldn't elaborate on what those incentives are, citing the competitive process.)

The Hamilton video includes a song from Monster Truck.

The package also has a video portraying Hamilton as gritty, innovative and full of culture, and uses the phrase "Welcome to unstoppable."

"Hamilton stops at nothing," the video says over Monster Truck's "Don't Tell Me How to Live."

The montages include wine, waterfalls, Supercrawl, a T-shirt that says "Art is the new steel" and panoramic views of the escarpment.

Eisenberger and city manager Chris Murray are confident this will get Amazon's attention.

Canada's health care and immigration policies are attractive, Murray said. The company wants an urban setting with robust transit, which means it would likely be drawn to the lower city.

Calgary economic development officials put ads on Seattle sidewalks and in the Seattle Times newspaper. (@KIRORadio/Twitter)

Hamilton has spent nearly $500,000 on the bid, with $250,000 coming from city coffers. The city says it's raising the rest through the public sector. Burlington has also contributed — about $25,000, Eisenberger believes — and the city is pursuing money from Niagara.

Still, the competition is robust. An estimated 100 North American cities have submitted bids.

That includes Winnipeg, which dubbed itself the frugal choice, and Birmingham, Ala., which put large Amazon Dash buttons around the city to promote the bid.

Hamilton spent money hiring consultants, and paying staff and production costs for the bid package it started in September.

Detroit used the slogan "Move here. Move the world." (Detroit Moves/Facebook)

The city's economic development department has ready materials to make pitches to business, Murray said. But the Amazon bid required a larger, more modernized bid tailored to the company.

The city will use the assembled materials for future bids, Murray said. After all, "not every page of this book has the word Amazon on it."

Now, the bidding cities wait, including Calgary, which had an ad that said "Hey Amazon, not saying we'd fight a bear for you, but we totally would." Amazon will announce the winning city early next year.

Murray said the city will gladly answer any questions Amazon has between now and then.

Zavian Tate, a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, pushes a large Amazon Dash button. The buttons are part of the city's campaign to lure Amazon's second headquarters to Birmingham. (Brynn Anderson/Associated Press)

About the Author

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca