Monday, May 08, 2006

What is the Fascination with Slogans?

The Associated Press reports that New Jersey has ditched its second state slogan in less than a year. The state spent a quarter-million dollars last year on a consulting firm, which came up with the slogan "We'll Win You Over." The state rejected that slogan as being too negative (but they probably didn't get their money back), and the Governor held a statewide contest to find a replacement. The winner was "Come See For Yourself." That slogan was adopted with great fanfare in January, and then subsequently dropped because it reportedly had been used previously by West Virginia and other states. (Although apparently no one could quite verify which state(s) had used it.)

How many people know what Pennsylvania's current slogan is? (Answer: "State of Independence." This is the same as a slogan that Saab has used, but apparently Saab decided that people wouldn't confuse a car and a state because they had the same slogan. This replaced "Pennsylvania Memories Last a Lifetime" which replaced "You've Got a Friend in Pennsylvania.")

And how many know what any other state's slogan is? And if you do know what a state's slogan is, does it make you any more likely to go there?

Cities/regions seem to have the same feeling that they cannot be successful without a slogan. St. Louis just unveiled a new slogan, "St. Louis: Perfectly Centered. Remarkably Connected," to help it lure new business. Makes you want to pick up and move your business to St. Louis tomorrow, doesn't it?

Other examples of city slogans:
Dallas, Texas: "Live Large. Think Big."
Las Vegas, Nevada: "What Happens Here, Stays Here"
Omaha, Nebraska: "O!" (This replaced "Rare. Well Done.")
Roswell, New Mexico: "The Aliens Aren't the Only Reason to Visit"
Linesville, Pennsylvania: "Where the Ducks Walk on the Fish"

The Pittsburgh Region has tried and failed in the past to come up with a slogan. That's not surprising -- how do you come up with five or six words that capture the quality of life, the capacity for innovation, the strength of the workforce, the natural beauty, and all of the other strengths of the region? You can't, and we shouldn't try.

But since the desire for slogans seems incurable, how about this one:

The Pittsburgh Region: We Want Your Business

A welcome message to entrepreneurs, existing busineses, and relocating businesses. A statement of aspiration for creation of a business climate that attracts and retains businesses, and thereby creates jobs for both existing and new residents. An expression of what we both need and want.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds too needy, how about "Let's do business."?

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Colma, California. A town of cemeteries where there's a much granite as grass has the slogan "It's great to be alive in colma." Posted by The New Colonist.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pittsburgh: Yinz want fries on 'nat?

11:26 AM  

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