City keeping it real with new slogan


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A new brand set to help attract visitors to Winnipeg aims to highlight how “real” the city is, while boosting its COVID-19 recovery.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/06/2022 (244 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A new brand set to help attract visitors to Winnipeg aims to highlight how “real” the city is, while boosting its COVID-19 recovery.

After more than two years of research and consultations, Economic Development Winnipeg and Travel Manitoba unveiled a new slogan for the city on Wednesday, namely “Winnipeg: Made from what’s real.” There’s also a new abstract logo, which can look like a ‘W’ and ‘M’ separated by a line, a snowflake or even a machinery cog.

“People told us through our research that Winnipeg is authentic to the core. Genuine experiences, connections and ideas abound here. We don’t sugar-coat, we problem solve. We’re creative, diverse and world class,” said Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg.

The brand is paired with the website and will be promoted through a new Far From Ordinary clothing line, a Coal and Canary candle and a Kilter Brewing beer called “Winnipeg: Made From What’s Real Prairie Lager.” The campaign will also feature plenty of ads.

Spiring said Winnipeg hasn’t had this type of brand and the promotions will partly aim to help the city recover from a severe pandemic hit to its ability to retain residents and attract tourists.

“We were doing very well from a tourism perspective pre-COVID and the world fell out from under us in a lot of ways. That’s not different than any other major city across Canada or around the world… We’re coming back and we’ve got the excitement and we’re going to build on that,” she said.

McKim.Sherpa developed the logo and slogan after researching old local typefaces and documents, deliberately leaving it open to interpretation.

“For the logo, we strove for an idea that can represent many facets of possibilities of our community while being open for interpretation. Is it a sun for optimism, a cog to represent manufacturing and our industrious routes? Maybe it’s a W and an M for Winnipeg and Manitoba. We felt it important that the identity call out our history and the connectivity of this city but still be open for interpretation by each viewer,” said Peter George, the company’s president and CEO.

Spiring said she’s not concerned the slogan or symbol could trigger backlash for being too vague or open-ended, like the Manitoba “Spirited Energy” slogan introduced in 2006, which critics deemed vague and meaningless.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Dayna Spiring, president & CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg stands with Winnipeg’s new abstract logo. The new city slogan is: “Winnipeg: Made from what’s real.”

“We learned from the mistakes of past brands that didn’t work and we’re pretty proud of what we’ve accomplished,” she said.

The EDW leader said Spirited Energy was created by an out-of-province firm, while Winnipeg’s new brand reflects extensive consultation with Winnipeggers themselves.

“It allows us to speak to the diversity that is Winnipeg,” she said.

The logo and slogan were announced just before Mayor Brian Bowman, who is not seeking re-election in the fall, made his final State of the City address. During his speech, Bowman welcomed the new brand.

“There’s nothing more liberating than being authentically ourselves. Economic Development Winnipeg really hit the mark in their ‘Made from what’s real’ branding we just saw roll out a few minutes ago. It captures our pride, our readiness to welcome the world to Winnipeg,” he said.

The mayor said the slogan and logo will be placed on signs at the edges of the city over the summer to welcome visitors. The signs will include a treaty land acknowledgement.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Peter George, McKim.Sherpa’s president and CEO, discusses the branding developed with Economic Development Winnipeg.

“I think it strikes the right chord. The one thing about Winnipeggers is… we are real, for better or for worse. You look at Winnipeggers, we’re a pretty authentic group,” said Bowman.

Twitter: @joyanne_pursaga

Joyanne Pursaga

Joyanne Pursaga

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.

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