During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) came to INNOVATIVE with an urgent campaign need. There were millions in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans available for Indiana small businesses—but only 30 days left to apply. We immediately jumped in to action, going from initial call to campaign launch in less than seven days.


Campaign Strategy
Campaign Creative
Video Production
Grassroots Marketing
Content Marketing
Motion Graphics

StayINBiz was a high-speed campaign to bring more than $200M to Hoosier small businesses.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses were struggling. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) knew there were millions of federal dollars available to help, but Hoosiers weren’t applying for assistance. With less than a month until the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application deadline, the IEDC asked INNOVATIVE to help spread the word—and bring our fair share of the PPP relief funds to Indiana.

We knew urgency was critical for the success of this campaign, so we immediately pulled in our media-buying partner Three Sixty Group for support. Together, we quickly developed a rough campaign plan and a list of deliverables, including: TV commercials, radio spots, digital ads, print ads, a microsite, and assets for both social and grassroots marketing. This list was completed and approved within just 48 hours, and our team moved right into campaign design.

Our campaign creative was designed to engage and activate overwhelmed small business owners.

With so many ads about unprecedented times, our campaign needed to cut through the noise and reach even the most disheartened business owner. We brainstormed key phrases and messages, and within minutes, someone said: “Keep your business in business and your employees employed.”

This simple turn of phrase quickly became the backbone of our campaign creative, keeping our message clear and easy to understand. We used the concept to build out a full script for the television spot and then submitted it for client review. As soon as we received client approval, we dove into design and started bringing the StayINBiz look to life.

The StayINBiz microsite helped streamline campaign conversions.

Prior to the StayINBiz campaign, the IEDC and the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) directed applicants to a crowded government website. Visitors had to wade through many different pages and documents before they could figure out how to apply, which severely impacted their conversion rate.

With the creation of, we focused on making the application process as clear and easy to understand as possible. The PPP loan process was notoriously complex and stressful for small businesses, but we designed the website with step-by-step guides and tips for applicants to follow. In fact, the original campaign was such a success, the IEDC and ISBDC continued to use this domain to increase conversions for other small business applications and opportunities.

The StayINBiz campaign was a decisive success.

Not only did we accomplish our objective, we drastically exceeded our original goal, bringing far more than just our “fair share” of PPP dollars to Indiana. And we did it in under a week! While every successful campaign feels awesome, we were especially proud to help Hoosier small businesses during a time of great need. We are beyond honored that the Indiana Economic Development Corporation trusted us to deliver results—for this project and beyond. Check out a few of our success metrics below:

  •  More than $200 million in PPP loans for Indiana small businesses
  • 60.7 million impressions
  • More than $200,000 in additional value above the media buy

We found that testimonial storytelling helped the campaign reach larger audiences and convert people quicker.

As we worked on the campaign, we quickly discovered that success testimonials were the best way to increase activation. No matter what we did, the PPP application was always going to seem daunting for small business owners, especially when they were already overwhelmed. The only way to give them hope was hearing from other small business owners who overcame their struggles with PPP.

From photography studios to tea shops, we worked hard to find small business owners across a a variety of industries—each with their own PPP success story. This diversity helped broaden the appeal and relatability of our testimonial series. The videos lived on the microsite throughout the campaign, but their greatest impact came through social media and grassroots distribution efforts.