Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Brands and Logos

Regina has unveiled a new slogan and logo for the city:

I actually don't think the slogan is that bad. But the logo is crap, and it's certainly not worth the $400,000 the city spent to come up with it. 18 months and $400,000 and that's what they have to show for it??? I do not understand why these cities keep doing this.

Take Moose Jaw for example, who also just recently had a re-branding. Their new slogan? "Surprisingly Unexpected". How redundantly redundant. Something like "Discover the Unexpected" would have been much less cringe-inducing. And I actually agree with the sentiment behind it. Moose Jaw is a really cool little city, with beautiful turn of the century architecture, historic downtown, lots of support for culture and the arts, and a beautiful river valley. Things which you wouldn't guess looking at it on a map, or even driving by it on the highway. And you'd certainly never guess it by looking at the new logo which to me looks like it should belong to some cheesy fast food outlet:

That does not say "history" and "culture" which is what Moose Jaw has become known for and what they should have been building on. I don't know how much the city paid someone to come up with that, but I guarantee it was too much.

Even Swift Current got hosed in this department. What's their slogan you ask? "Swift Current: Where Life Makes Sense". WTF? What does that even mean? At least "infinite horizons" and "surprisingly unexpected" (stupidly worded as that last one is) give you an idea of the character of the city. Where life makes sense?! And they gave a Calgary firm $50,000 to come up with that winner. It is universally mocked, and only got funnier last summer when, with a surge in the rodent population, it got changed in some circles to "Where rats make nests".

If I was in charge of finding a new slogan for a city, here's what I would do. I would make it into a city-wide contest. Any resident could try and come up with a slogan. Then I'd pick the 5 best, and have the whole city vote. I guarantee that you would come up with a really great slogan, the cost would be minimal, and people in the city would be happy with it because they're the ones that chose it after all.

And finally, a really great video to remind all us consumers what's it's really all about (h/t to Saskboy):

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