Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Slogans or Brands?

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After a couple of hours at any trade show, one becomes completely immune to the lure of slogans. Or, sorry, in the 21st century they are "brands"; "quite different from a slogan", brand consultants say, "they imbue character and the soul of the destination; a much deeper concept". Well, maybe; and then again, maybe not.

I have seen more slogans than I care to remember, and realise that with few exceptions, "Fiji Me" is one I love, they are completely interchangeable, and definitely sterile when viewed in a collective environment. They are, in the most part very silly, if only for their price tags. Remember the $600,000+ that Manitoba spent on "Sprited Energy"? Well, that was cheap compared to many of them.

Some implore you to visit; "Find Yourself Here" (California), "I give you Everything (sic)" (Valencia), "Take a Closer Look" (Gibraltar); another genre tries to imply a particular (and not uncommon) attribute as unique to their destination: "Where Dreams Reborn (sic)" (Venezuela) or "A New Mediterranean Love" (Albania). Some are desperately self-confident, "Sensational" (Brazil), "Natural" (Uruguay), "Impressive" (El Salvador) or "Feel the Love" (Bermuda).

After a few days bombardment by ever-increasingly strident renditions of "Truly Asia" (Malaysia), "Another World (Seychelles) and "It will Never Leave You" (Panama) one almost loses the will to live. Slogans are slogans however they are sold; images and brands are bestowed by others.

With few exceptions they are all interchangeable and very forgettable. I have done so already in the most part; and at an average cost of $1 million oer tag line, I gave up caring after I had read and mulled over $38 million worth of these rather idiotic lines. Surely this money could have been spent better elsewhere?

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