Tuesday, March 17, 2009

o my, my.
that's about all i can say in summing up this week's coverage to date of the giant fray that is wisconsin's effort to re-brand itself.

it all started on monday, with our local journal-sentinel detailing the gov's intro of the new identity at the governor's conference on tourism in la crosse. the people quoted all said brand-launch-y type things, which is what one would expect.

it did not take a nanosecond, however, for the legion of you-gotta-be-kidding-me to get itself in gear, and in the last 18 hours there's been an AP story and nearly 3,000 clicks on the fark.com page dedicated to making fun of the new slogan. some of those erudite entries:

Dude, Yer Gettin' A Dells
Now with More Appleton than Perfect Strangers
So Awesome, Even Brett Favre Came Here
No, not near Chicago. No, that's Michigan. No, that's Minnesota.
Wisconsin: Home of the Frozen Lake DUI
Wisconsin: Eat Cheese or Die
Give Me Bratwurst or Give Me Death
Live Like A Fatty
Wisconsin: Making your liver cry for 161 years
You Moo's sure do know how to party!!!!
At Least We're Not Canadians (or Minnesotans)
Drink Like There's No Tomorrow
and one of my personal favorites... It's The One Shaped Like An Oven Mitt.

followed by a raft of riffs on the "... like you mean it," including "tax like you mean it," "drink like you mean it," and the like, coupled with modifications to the artwork including the cartwheeling figure doing a kegstand and having cash fall out of his pockets, respectively.

i think quite possibly my favorite quote comes from the california dietician who apparently has authored a book using the phrase and went off to the ap reporter about the fact that wisconsin is not going to get a federal trademark. that's so cute. the phrase is so hackneyed that seeking trademark protection would be ridiculous, even if the classes of use between cookbooks and tourism were even close to being confused with one another. of course, here in wisconsin i suppose that IS debatable given so much of the state's connection to beer, cheese and sausage.

in today's story, the state's brand manager took the equally expected approach when these kinds of things happen, which is to say words to the effect of, "__ you very much for your opinion, but we think it communicates effectively. everyone is always going to have a different opinion about such things." she is, of course, right about this last bit. but i really have no idea about the communication effectiveness thing -- and if she did, why didn't she put some data out there to back it up???

the stories talk about the fact that they vetted the tagline for legal purposes, but never about whether the tag was tested with the intended targets... presumably tourists and businesses in other states. which means, candidly, that ALL opinions expressed thus far -- including my own -- are horsehockey. this is what brand manager lady should have said. it wouldn't have kept the farkers from going after it (although if i were her, i would've farked them back with the research until they packed up their puns and went sulking off to wherever farkers go when they've been dissed).

ladies and gentlemen, if you take nothing else away from this blog's collection of drivel, i hope you will at least remember monica's golden rule, which appears on a piece of paper i once shot at while at a gun range. my performance was not too bad that day -- out of 15 rounds, i nailed 6 or 8 pretty much in the center, and the rest fairly close-in. i don't keep that memento to impress people with my shooting skills -- i keep it to remind them, and myself, that we are not the target of everything we see. data, data, data (and the insight one should be able to get from it) is key to making sure this kind of thing doesn't happen. hopefully the state will figure this out and give the next salvo in the campaign a little more of a chance,

in the meantime, tho, i'll be practicing my cartwheels like i mean it.

1 comment:

monica levy said...

from nan goldberg

Regarding your comment about www.fark.com... Certainly, they would make fun of any slogan, worthy or unworthy. I wonder if there's a demographic they represent. How about dumb-ass illiterati with limited spelling ability under 40 whose favorite entertainment include cupcakes and porn (but not at the same time, because you have to have one hand free).

More, I wonder why a state needs a slogan. One of the farkers raised the question of how much Wisconsin paid the consultant to come up with a new slogan...I have to admit, I would also want to know how much of the taxpayers' dollars they spent on this. I think there are probably a lot of folks who would question this, because they view a state slogan about the way they would view toilet paper...when you need it, you use whatever's handy, and you don't particularly care about the color, they ply, the softness, or the texture.

Anyway, maybe you could do a blog entry to enlighten me. It's probably pretty basic Marketing 101, but it couldn't hurt to do a little level setting.

Post a Comment