Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Billings brand

The Brand Billings Campaign unveiled its new slogan and logo today. My perennial question on such campaigns: Do they ever matter?

The newsroom staff at the first paper I worked for once wasted the better part of an afternoon trying to improve on the city's slogan, which appeared right under our flag on each issue. It was "Hub of the Trinity Valley." Not terribly memorable, but we couldn't improve on it.

Somehow, branding efforts for cities every since always have struck me as roughly equally futile. How many city slogans can you even name? And how much do they influence what you think about the city they are applied to? Not much, I would guess.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Keep Austin Weird," but that one is spontaneous, not designed, I think.

Dave Rye said...

Lake Wobegon's is exquisite, unforgettable branding: "Gateway to Central Minnesota."

Jay Larry Lundeen said...

Having spent 25+ years in the advertising biz I see branding as simply the latest promo whizbang du jour. Just another form of dubious sizzle when only the steak really sells itself.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has taken branding beyond lunacy through its campaign to now designate fish as "sea kittens." Apparently this sea-change (pun intended) will horrify fish-eaters to the point of swearing off piscatorial noshing.

http://www.peta.org/sea_kittens/index.asp

It will be interesting whether Billings new branding of "Montana's Trailhead" will prove to be a tourist magnet. Possibly, but only when coupled with a full-on print and electronic Billings ad campaign. By itself, "Montana's Trailhead" may simply be another hotly promoted idea which may PETA out.

Anonymous said...

but I thought PETA was


P eople

E ating

T asty

A nimals

Mark T said...

Ah c'mon, Billings. Go back to that damned cow.

Chuck Rightmire said...

Probably fade into the sunset within about six months except on certain letterheads where it will be a minor and unreadable blob. It needs a dollar sign to make it true to this city.

Todd said...

Well, I guess it's better than the perplexing and ill-fated "Wyoming: A Great Land Outdoors."

I always got a chuckle out of "You're In Wyoming: Eat Beef." As if to say, "Don't even try to order the chicken or the fish. We don't take to that kind 'round these parts."

David said...

Todd,
My all-time favorite slogan was a suggestion that didn't get picked: "Wyoming: Not Exactly Square."

Kirk Dooley said...

My suggestion for a slogan for The Equality State:

"Wyoming: Lakota for 'Move Along Folks -- Nothing To See Here.' " ;-)

Anonymous said...

Well, it might be a good idea to associate some businesses with Billings that has something to do with the Brand. For example, From what I know, that only local company in town that offers cowboy cookouts in Billings is Western Romance Company. They provide horseback rides, and Pappy's Cowboy Cookout right in Billings, MT. Unlike any other business in Billings, this would be a great endorsement of Montana's Trailhead; The outdoor western adventures they offer are unlike any other for miles around. check out their website at www.westernromancecompany.com