“I am thrice divorced, and I live in a van, down by the river.” Immortal words of motivational speaker Matt Foley, one of the many hilarious and memorable characters created for Saturday Night Live by Madison’s own Chris Farley.
The state’s tourism folks may as well have appended Farley’s line to their new slogan, “Live Like You Mean It”. It would have at least lent some originality and Wisconsin flavor to a hackneyed phrase that’s been used by everything from a rum purveyor to a book on how to stop being fat.
Baldy unveiled the new/old/recycled slogan in LaCrosse a few days ago, with the green letters WISCONSIN (aren’t we earth-friendly….green letters) overtopped by a red man (no, not a native American…a man rendered in red ink) doing a cartwheel across the green letters. Red, for those of you who can actually see it (I am red color-blind) is supposed to mean ENERGY.
Never mind that there are only a handful of ‘sconnie guys who can actually DO a cartwheel.
Sarah Klavas, who is the “brand manager” for the state, told the Associated Press she saw no contradiction in using a recycled slogan to promote the state’s originality. For those of you who haven’t checked lately, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s website calls itself the “home of original thinking”.
Say what? ORIGINAL??
The Milwaukee outfit Red Brown Kle' charged us taxpayers 50 grand to foist this new slogan upon us, one which they knew full well had been used by scores of other outfits, and fully disclosed that fact to the tourism bosses two months before it was “unveiled“ a few days ago.
Those folks at Tourism claim it’s a 13-billion-dollar business in Wisconsin, and plenty of us in south-central Wisconsin know first-hand how many primary and secondary jobs depend on tourism, and I’m not just talking about the Dells.
No less an editorial juggernaut than the Sheboygan Press opines “a tourist or visitor judges his or her travel experiences mainly on how well they are treated”. True dat…on our recent Spring Training odyssey to Arizona, we were treated like royalty by everybody from Sky Harbor Airport to the hotel to the ball parks.
The point is, more than any slogan or logo, it’s up to us ‘sconnies to make visitors welcome and enjoy their visit and make them want to come back.
“Live Like You Mean It” probably doesn’t hurt anything, but it probably doesn’t DO anything to make people want to come here.
I’d rather have something like “great beer, great cheese, no toll roads”.