JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) - Southern Indiana is getting a marketing makeover. For 35 years, southern Indiana has been calling itself the "Sunny Side of Louisville," and it is now reintroducing itself as "Southern Indiana is SO IN." 

"It's definitely the longest-standing destination brand in Indiana, and one of the longest in the country," said Jim Epperson, executive director of the Clark Floyd Counties Convention and Tourism Bureau. "'I heart NY' and 'Virginia is for Lovers' are the only two we think are older."

Epperson says the bureau and its marketing firm, Red7E,  did not have to look far for inspiration. "SO IN" has already been seen with businesses and on apparel.

"It started showing up in hashtags, so it was growing on its own," Epperson said. "You didn't have to make it up. It's not contrived. It's natural. It's something people are already gravitating toward."

Lynn Rhodea, the owner of Pearl Street Treats, says people are often surprised when they walk across to Indiana on the Big Four Bridge.

"I don't think most people realize what Jeffersonville has to offer, and especially since the bridge has opened all the new businesses have popped up," Rhodea said.

The goal is to capitalize on the downtown growth in Jeffersonville and New Albany, and the bureau knows who to target.

"It is the couples getaway," Epperson said. "That could be for a night out, an overnight ... it's the family market. There is the girlfriends' getaway [and] the equivalent, the guys' getaway. The kinds of folks who will get out and walk around these downtowns, take advantage of the great restaurants, breweries, wineries."
Tolls coming soon to some bridges are considered a hiccup, not a hindrance.

"We think with great customer service and really great experiences, otherwise, telling great stories and the tolls will be in the back of their mind," Epperson said. "You know, will people stop going to Huber's to get a pumpkin or cut their Christmas tree or get a family fried chicken meal, because of a couple extra bucks? Those are great experiences that people have a tradition built around.

"There will be a shakeout period with people trying out a different bridge and the congestion that comes with that. It'll all work out, and people will get used to it. Some will complain, but I don't think long-term behaviors are going to be changed by the tolls. I think we can continue to build the Louisville traffic coming across as our area continues to flourish."

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