Oct 26, 2021 - News
Northwest Arkansas trolls Austin and offers one-way tickets
A photo of Northwest Arkansas' ad campaign
ExperinceOz.us. Courtesy of OZ Brands

If you're an Austinite who woke up this morning thinking you wanted to move to Arkansas, now's your chance.

What's happening: Northwest Arkansas outdoor recreation and arts company Oz Brands is offering to buy 10 Austinites a one-way ticket to what it calls paradise.

The Bentonville-based company is accepting applications through Oct. 29 from Austin residents to win an airline ticket to Northwest Arkansas National Airport, a $350 Visa gift card and a $150 gift card from a regional restaurant group. The promotion is called "One Way Out."

  • Applicants must be 18 years or older and provide basic contact information.
  • Entries will be judged on their 250-word essays that answer: "Why do you need a break from Austin?"
  • Originality, humor and creativity will be considered.

Context: The gimmick, of course, is the one-way ticket because "once visitors see the hidden gem of the Northwest Arkansas region, they won't want to leave!"

  • OZ Brands (OZ Art, OZ Trails and Fly OZ) claims Austin residents must be tired of the traffic, tourists and cost of living.
  • (FWIW, we are, aren't we?)

Why it matters: There are an estimated 10,000 open jobs in Northwest Arkansas and not enough people to fill them.

  • Workers in Austin — especially in tech fields — are coveted by NWA recruiters and economic developers.
  • And truth be told, Northwest Arkansas, famous for housing the headquarters of Walmart, has some fantastic bike trails, state parks and restaurants…
  • Also, they're currently better at football. The Arkansas Razorbacks crushed the Longhorns 40-21 back in September.

Flashback: The Northwest Arkansas Council recently launched a snarky ad campaign in various markets, including Austin, to encourage residents to move to NWA.

  • "Everthing's bigger in Texas, including the mortgage payments," read one billboard.

What to watch: Winners will be announced on Nov. 5.

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