Lots of cities hire second-rate agencies – or, more often, some politico’s nephew “who’s in advertising” – to create their ad campaigns. Those campaigns almost universally suck. Most of the time we’re grudgingly grateful for that because we’re suckers and we’re more than willing to max out our credit cards on travel. But sometimes we’re really grateful for awful tourism campaigns because they provide this kind of inside-the-industry entertainment:
“A Little West of Center” turned out to be way off. Reno’s tourism agency is going back to the drawing board after its proposed marketing slogan was met with blank stares and criticism from Mayor Bob Cashell and others. “I love the ideas, I love the research you are doing, but this ‘West of Center,’ it doesn’t do a thing for me,” Cashell said … “In fact it embarrasses me,” he said. “It embarrasses the city of Reno. I don’t like that.” … So far, the campaign has cost the RSCVA more than $111,000.
The rest of the article catalogs reactions of other Council members, including one official who described the medical conditions he suffered from having to hear the slogan. The city has been using “America’s Adventure Place” in their marketing since 2002 and apparently wanted to change things up a little bit. Oops.
The City Council is right that the slogan is genocidally horrific. But we’re not really sure what they expected. It doesn’t matter what they choose: all anyone is ever going to hear is “Reno: we’re not Las Vegas.”
We thought maybe they could run with that and roll “Reno: we’re not Las Vegas but at least our whores are licensed.” Then we discovered that Reno doesn’t have legal prostitution either. So now we’re back at the drawing board.