by Ray Bendici
Jan 31, 2013
06:52 AMUnsteady Habits
Connecticut: Kicks Butt?
I saw heard this story the other day on NPR about how two enterprising gentlemen from Kentucky are trying to replace the state's current motto—"Unbridled Spirit"—with a new one: Kentucky Kicks Ass.
In the story, one of the proponents, Griffin VanMeter, says the problem is that the current slogan is ... well, let's go with "less than optimal."
From the piece:
Kentucky adopted the Unbridled Spirit slogan in 2004 and incorporated it into marketing materials, government stationary and license plates. But VanMeter says that the state's message is not something people would actually use in normal conversation.
So let me ask this: In general conversation, how many times have you heard anyone refer to Connecticut as "Still Revolutionary"?
Let me say right up front that you will not find a bigger fan of Connecticut than yours truly—I love this state with my whole heart, and cannot write enough about all the wonders and treasures it has to offer. I am also totally behind Gov. Malloy's efforts to spend money to help promote us as a tourist destination because I know there's more things to do and see here than you can fit in one vacation, from casinos to museums to restaurants to state parks and so much more. We have an embarrassment of riches, really.
However, that all being said, I can't say I've been on-board with the marketing initiative that started last year and brought us the slogan "Still Revolutionary." To me, while recalling the spirit of 1776, it feels very much like 1976—a safe, quasi-flag-waving effort with all the imagination of American cheese on white bread. Oh sure, it may have won some award, but I'll argue the fact that we went from spending $0 on tourism to $17 million was a bigger factor than the slogan itself. They could've gone with, "Connecticut: We're Still Connecticut" and gotten the same results.
Last time I checked, this is 2013, and trying to market destinations with such innocuous efforts in a world where catchy and quirky rue the day is not going to cut it. Let's put it this way: Even though it's not even the official slogan, I bet more people already know that Kentucky Kicks Ass than had ever heard about its Unbridled Spirit.
Now I get that we're the Land of Steady Habits, so such a radical change in attitude may be a challenge. But that's okay—as always, I'm here to help.
Here are a few ideas for some more dynamic and more memorable state slogans.
"Connecticut: Full of Awesome Sauce"
"Connecticut: Full of Win" (you know, for the casino-going crowd and college basketball fans)
"Connecticut: Boo Yeah!"
"Connecticut: We Will, We Will Rock You!"
"Connecticut: Get Your Blue On"
"Connecticut: It's Expensive to Live Here for a Good Reason—It's the Best Place in the World!"
"Connecticut: You May Not Be Able to Handle All This and Steamed Cheeseburgers, Too"
"Connecticut: For a Whale of a Good Time"
—and to illustrate that, I simply offer this:
"Connecticut: If You Stare Directly At Us, You Might Go Blind from the Awesome"
"Connecticut: More Awesome Than Neil Patrick Harris and Betty White Riding on a Honey Badger Float During the Awesome Day Parade"
Well, you get it. Feel free to share your own.