Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Burning Flesh Smell Of Branding

But not in a creepy way.

My fair city just paid $30,000 to develop a new "brand" to advertise itself and is spending an additional $200,000 to start pimping the hell out of this brand.

The old brand was: Wild About Anchorage. They had a cute jingle and cartoon animals including Seymour the Moose. It was the 80's and I was an occasional badass babysitter*… ah the memories.

Anyway, here's the brand they came up with for a mere $30,000 of my tax dollars:

Big. Wild. Life.

No kidding, check it out HERE. (Seriously, have a look at the logo, I'd reprint it here but someone might complain - copyrights and all.)

Notice the red color splash behind the words. It looks like the splat mark made when you smash a mosquito. Well, okay, so that would be appropriate.

I would categorize the $10,000 per word brand as an incredibly bad choice if not for the town they had to work with.

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser is wide-ranging but this point struck home: all the franchising in this country has served to drain most of the local flavor from each town. Los Anchorage is a prime example. Our newest feature and soon to be the hottest spot in town? Target. Yep. That's it. Target.

This is my home and I'm happy to live here but I'm not exactly sure why anyone would like to move here. There are a lot of funky little towns in Alaska and, while I wouldn't actually want to move to one, I can see the appeal of moving to one of those: wilderness, solitude, peace and quiet, etc. Los Anchorage… well…

Our civic leaders would like you to believe that Anchorage has all the advantages of a big city but retains the small-town feel and beauty of the rest of Alaska. This is not an entirely false premise but it overlooks the fact that we have our share of big city problems plus the bonus of being far enough away from the rest of the world that everything here is less available and more expensive.

Far be it for me to criticize without offering alternatives, humble as they may be.

Tell me some of your ideas!!

* Shoutout to Lyndsay, her mom, and her seeester!


TBone Branding Iron


Mom said...

I have seen the TV newscasters(ie John and Maria at the hockey game...John C ice fishing)doing the "BIG WILD LIFE" spots. A little creepy...and IN a bad way.

I know we all just live here and sometimes are an apathetic bunch, but didn't we get a vote or a say so? Did we even know Anchorage was in the market for a new "Brand" (and when did cities become "brand name products")?

You have my vote for "Anchorage-Minutes from Alaska". That is actually very, very funny and so true! (I really like the FedEx/UPS brand too!)

Okay so the 80's are over...but I for one will dearly miss Seymour and all his dancing friends. Didn't we all hum/sing "Wild, wild about Anchorage"? Common,you know you did.

jen said...

well, it's better than "Oklahoma is OK!". my friend from Arkansas said they came up with that because "Oklahoma is Mediocre!" wouldn't fit on a license plate.

smussyolay said...

this is so funny. especially since i was just thinking that another place i now want to travel is up to anchorage (summer, of course) to see where you and kelli live.

i always love how i invite myself places. but i seriously was just thinking that.

big smusses to sugar baby.

Anonymous said...

And the old commercial showed us all how cute king crab were in a tux......
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