Seattle: Another DOA Slogan
October 21, 2006 2 Comments
Seattle recently unveiled its most recent lame attempt at a slogan to promote itself.
It spent 16 months and 200K to come up with this theme. Some of us could have done better with 2 hours and a free venti latte from Starbucks.
The slogan that resulted from this misplaced investment? METRONATURAL.
Yes, Seattle is a city. And, yes, it is in an attractive wilderness/outdoorsy area. But METRONATURAL? Sounds like a biofuel-powered subway system. Or an urban commune for hippies. A winning entry that’s a 5-syallable nonsense term sounding like an already-discarded trendy term for unmanly males? Get real.
Seattle is a great city. But if I were a resident, I would not buy and wear a “METRONATURAL” hat with pride. There are other brands whose mugs/shirts/hats I gladly use – a key indicator of branding that hits the mark. I have a sneaking suspicion that sales of Mariners and Seahawks “stuff” will far surpass anything with this DOA term on it.
An effective slogan or tagline should, in most cases, be both descriptive and aspirational. Simple yet timeless. There should be, if possible, a self-evident connection to the thing being branded. It should not provoke the “Huh???” response of this and the previous failed efforts at branding Seattle. Article from SeattlePI.com
What are the visual cues that sum up Seattle as a city in the midst of natural beauty? Very simple. The Space Needle, and Mt. Ranier. Both of which have a peak. I can visualize a simplified line drawing of Mt. Ranier in the background, with the peak of the Needle in the foreground, and a tagline such as “Peak City” or “At the Peak“. That cost me all of 15 minutes thought and a half cup of my own brewed coffee. With 16 months and 200K, it would undoubtedly be do-able to come up with plenty of other possibilities! At 200K per city, and about a year and a half per, it would only take 5 cities and a less than a decade to be a millionaire.
Let’s see if we can come up with slogans just as effective as “METRONATURAL” in, oh, say, 10 minutes:
Cleveland: Not as Bad as You Think
Charlotte: We’re Nice and We Have Banks
Trenton, NJ: Corruption Happens
Some locales (Virginia, New York, etc.) came up with campaigns that were appealing and long-lived. I fully expect “METRONATURAL” to be consigned to the dustbin of the rapidly forgotten – the sooner, the better.
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