Thursday, February 03, 2005

"Life's So Good," Slogan's so-so

Yesterday Governor Doyle and Tourism Secretary Jim Holperin announced that the state will be spending $2 million promoting the state with the new tourism slogan "Wisconsin - Life's So Good."

Can I get an "eh," man?

Sure it's better than the previous slogan, the forgettable "Stay Just a Little Bit Longer," but I know I'm not the only one who would just prefer we go back to the proven success of "Escape to Wisconsin." Not only was that a memorable slogan, but with just a pair of scissors, the block-lettered bumper stickers could be easily altered to read "Escape to Sin," or its theological opposite, "Escape Sin." (I have even seen the bumper sticker rendered "Escape Wisconsin.") The warm nostalgia people feel for the old slogan would probably be worth $2 million.

"Escape to Wisconsin" had a clear message that contained a call to action. "Life's So Good"? Not only is it difficult to enunciate with the back-to-back 'S' sounds, it's passive. It doesn't exhort anyone to do anything. It comes off as a simple statement of pride: we like it here. It's a cozy sentiment, but it's not a tourism slogan. (In comparison, "Stay Just a Little Bit Longer" politely asks people not to leave -- which works for either tourists on vacation or residents with "Escape Wisconsin" bumper stickers -- but at least it encourages some action.)

How much did it cost the state to come up with this passive, dull slogan?

The summer promotion is the baby of Boelter & Lincoln Marketing Communications, who outbid a dozen other companies to win a $5 million marketing contract and a $600,000 public relations contract with the state, said Tourism spokesman Jerry Huffman. The contracts are essentially five-year deals - one year with options for four one-year extensions.

Huffman said it was almost impossible to ferret out the cost of developing the slogan because it was part of overall campaign development. The costs of this summer's "Wisconsin - Life's So Good" campaign include $1.9 million to buy ads for TV and print, $204,000 for sales commissions to Boelter & Lincoln and $112,000 for film and editing, Huffman said.

Here's the Boelter & Lincoln website, by the way. Check out the portfolio. The other print ads for the Dept. of Tourism are similarly low-key, as if the idea is not to sell people on vacationing in Wisconsin but to communicate a feeling that the state imparts.

But check out the ad for Harbor City Brewery. The slogan reads "You'll wanna puke just to taste it again."

Given that, I suppose we should count our blessings that "Life's So Good" is what they came up with.

(Cross-posted to Badger Blog Alliance)


Post a Comment

<< Home