Washington, Utah residents rise up against new tourism slogans

Coming up with a state tourism slogan is a terrible job. Every resident of the state is essentially your client, and no matter what you come up with, plenty of people are going to demand that you be tarred and feathered. The public bitching has begun in earnest in Washington state, which has chosen the enigmatic “SayWA” as its new motto. Speaking to the Associated Press, one major tour operator in the Pacific Northwest brings up his own past drug use to make his point: “Thirty-five years ago I smoked dope and probably could have come up with something like that. To me, it’s better to have no slogan than to come up with something like that. There’s too much scratching the head about ‘What does that mean?’” There’s also some scratching the head going on in Utah, which is going with the comparatively brilliant line, “Life elevated.” In a letter to the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, one Salt Lake City resident writes: “What an insipid, inane piece of drivel! … What the slogan says to me is, ‘My state paid a lot of money to an untested marketing agency, and all I got was this lousy, trite mantra.’ The next time Utah wants a new slogan, they should do what has worked here so well in the past: hold a competition among the elementary and home-schooled children of the state. It will be a lot less expensive, and a lot more relevant.” There’s no reasoning with these people. UPDATE: Palm Springs’ new slogan, “Give in to the desert. You’re surrounded,” is getting more heat this week, too. Says one business owner in the region: “The slogan connotes crystal meth and violence.” That can’t be good.

—Posted by Tim Nudd