If newspapers go the way of bottled milk and cloth diapers, I think I've figured out a Plan B: City slogans.
Coral Springs just paid some Tennessee marketing firm $70,000 to come up with a catchy new motto. Are you ready? "Coral Springs…everything under the sun."
Puh-lease. I could do a lot better a lot cheaper.
For half the price, here's what I would have given Coral Springs residents: "My city commission just spent $35,000, and all we got was this lousy logo!"
Or, "Coral Springs…where the sawgrass is always greener."
Or, "English still spoken here."
Hey, at least the money would stay local.
I don't doubt the hard-working folks at North Star Destination Strategies of Nashville put in loads of effort for their latest "community branding client," as saps… I mean cities, like Coral Springs are called.
Coral Springs joins a list of North Star clients that include McKinney, Texas ("Unique by nature"), Brookings, S.D. ("Bring your dreams"), and Columbus, Ind. ("Unexpected. Unforgettable.") Sorry, but in the case of Columbus, Ind., I would have gone with, "Not the one in Ohio."
Over the past year, North Star staffers came to Coral Springs to interview residents and tour the city. Then they pored over "mountains of qualitative and quantitative research data" (as the company's website describes the branding process). Then they held hours and hours of brainstorming sessions and meetings.
And then they came up with, "Everything under the sun."
In a way, it almost would have been better if the North Star gang spared everyone the time, pretense and BS and just took the $70,000, blew it on stone crabs, hookers and a week at the Hard Rock, and cooked up the same slogan.
It's been a rough year for government marketing efforts. Last month, there was a flap over a new state business logo/motto. Enterprise Florida, which gets state money, came up with the slogan, "Florida – the perfect climate for business." But instead of the letter "I", it used an image of a men's tie, angering women's groups.
I would have gone gender neutral, and gone with something like "Florida: Come waste away in Margaritaville."
Or, "Florida: You'll be blown away by our insurance rates (and hurricanes)."
Or, "Florida: Who needs a living wage? We've got cheap beer and fishing!"
So as a public service, and to get a jump start on my next career, I offer some more city branding mottoes completely gratis. And if you want to save your local city some spare change, feel free to send or Tweet me your suggestions (@heymikemayo), and I'll publish them on my blog.
On your mark, get set, brand:
Tamarac: Come bribe…uh, build with us.
Wellington: A great place to horse around (but please, let your chauffeur drive).
Fort Lauderdale: Enjoy our beach...while it's still here.
Lauderdale Lakes: We're broke, good luck fixing us.
Palm Beach: Rush and Trump…this ain't no dump!
Miramar: It means sea view, but all we can see is traffic on I-75.
Boynton Beach: Putting the "oy!" in retirement living since 1976.
Hollywood: If you're looking for stars on a sidewalk, head 3,000 miles west. But if you're looking for poutine on a Broadwalk, bingo!
Whew. That'll be $500,000, please. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to fish and find some cheap beer.