.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} Making Sense: e-Digest of Brand Thinking

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Atlanta's new tag line doesn't make sense


Why do so many state and municipal branding efforts fail to catch on? For one thing, they’re stupid. Take what’s happening in my hometown. Back in February, Atlanta launched The Brand Atlanta Campaign. Public and private forces immediately jumped on board. What came out of it? Three ground-shaking words: Opportunity, Optimism and Openness.
“We conducted extensive research and what came back to us were the three values of Opportunity, Optimism and Openness.

"Atlantans truly feel this way about their city," said Vicki Escarra, chair of Brand Atlanta's Marketing Strategy Committee. Brand Atlanta is so proud of their words that they’ve put them on banners hung from lampposts throughout the city, along with a new city logo. And to sweeten the deal, The Brand Atlanta people also threw in an anthem, "The ATL," interpreted by R&B artist Sammie at its inauguration. But that’s not all. If you order now, Cingular Wireless (headquartered in Atlanta) will let you download an exclusive 30-second ringtone from "The ATL" for only $2.49. Clearly, we’re dealing with people who like to talk to themselves.

Now for the tag line>>>
ATLANTA: every day is an opening day

Wow, that sure grabbed my attention. It looks like they couldn’t decide where the research ended and the tag line began. For a more in-depth commentary of Atlanta’s new tag line, visit Decent Marketing

Our tag line story doesn’t end here, however. Because stupidity, alone, isn’t enough to sink a brand. But reach and frequency are, especially the latter. Consider Enterprise rent-a-car’s “We’ll pick you up” and Kyocera’s “People friendly.” On the face of it, neither is a clever, compelling tag line. Yet they’ve been repeated long and often enough to become an integral part of their respective brands. I don’t see this happening with Atlanta’s new tag line. It will just fade into the background. Hopefully, along with our song.

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