May 11, 2005

Branding Atlanta

GMAFB! Atlanta is gonna spend $15 million to brand itself. Think I'm kidding? Read this

Las Vegas: Gambling. Orlando: Disney. New Orleans: Bourbon Street.

Atlanta: Hmmm . . .

City leaders are trying to define Atlanta for tourists, conventioneers, businesses and even locals.

Is it Scarlett O'Hara or Martin Luther King? Trees or traffic? Hip-hop or NASCAR? Major sports, big business or high art?

Howza 'bout "When we say nudie bar, we mean nudie bar. Our strippers bare everything." You're welcome. E-mail me and I'll tell you where to send the check.

Atlanta is losing millions of dollars, boosters say, because it's hard to pinpoint the city's image.

Bill Campbell, probably the most corrupt mayor in Atlanta history, said that people were gonna come to the 1996 Olympic Games for an "African-American experience". Maybe they oughtta try that. Campbell could use the money to pay his legal bills.

B.A. Albert, whose Atlanta ad agency, Match, was responsible for the state's "Georgia On My Mind" campaign, said it's about time city leaders worked together to shape a brand.

Atlanta leaders are notorious for operating their agencies like fiefdoms, but Albert is encouraged by Franklin's push to bring diverse groups together to create a singular identity for the city.

"Somebody's got to put the hammer down and be the big fist to make it happen," Albert said. "That is huge."

Howza 'bout, "You think LA traffic sucks? When you think traffic jams, think Atlanta."

Atlanta has most famously been the "city too busy to hate" and most infamously "the sports capital," a moniker laughed at by New Yorkers. The city also used "Atlanta: Come Celebrate Our Dream" to negligible effect during the 1996 Summer Olympics.

I guess the dream was the "African-American experience" Bill Campbell raved about.

Albert estimated the city will need to put at least $15 million behind the branding effort, which Brand Atlanta hopes to launch by year's end.

Ya know what this bullshit reminds me of? Back in the waning days of the John Akers' regime at IBM, he decided that he was gonna split IBM up into little companies. This was the current MBA fad: small companies able to react quickly to changing market conditions. Scott Adams called this tactic, Battling Business Units. The Education Division, where I worked, spent some gawdawful amount of money to pay some consulting firm to come up with a name for our little company. The winning entry was Skill Dynamics. Almost everyone (including our customers), except Ralph Clark who was the head honcho, thought this name was stupid. We even made jokes about it and thought that our insignia should be a Skill saw. Speaking of insignias, Skill Dynamics paid a consulting firm some gawfawful amount of money to come up with one. It was some printing symbol that no one had ever heard of.

He would like to see Atlanta spend even more and stage a national campaign like Las Vegas' wildly successfully "What Happens in Las Vegas, Stays in Las Vegas."

Howza 'bout "Escapees from the Fulton County jail don't stay in Atlanta. They take MARTA to Lennox Mall, steal a truck, and hightail it to Gwinnett County."

So far, only the Convention & Visitors Bureau has offered up money for the effort --- $150,000. Brand Atlanta is looking for more cash, said Jackson Kelly, executive director. Just how much a branding campaign will cost is "being determined," said Kelly, who is vice president of global marketing at Coca-Cola.

Hell yes. I'd be looking for more cash too. Tell you what. I'll come up with a catchy slogan and I'll only charge $1 million. What's more, I'll even publicize it on my blog. I get over 1200 hits a day. Howza 'bout, "Atlanta, home of raving moonbat Cynthia McKinney."

I'm sure my buddies Pumpman and Kim du Toit can be brought on board for reasonable compensation. They both get lots more readers than I do. Rob is talking about selling ad space and Kim already does.

Here are how some other cities are branded:

"Live Large, Think Big"

Los Angeles
"City of the Angels"

"Gateway to the Americas"

"Country Music Capital of the World"

New Orleans
"The Big Easy"

"City of Brotherly Love"

All right all my Atlanta readers, here's the challenge. Come up with your ideas and either put them in the comments or e-mail them to me. I will post them in the future.

Posted by denny at May 11, 2005 10:17 PM  

'Hotlanta! Booze, Beemers & Broads ... -but never on a Sunday'

Posted by: Dan S on May 12, 2005 02:18 AM

"Atlanta: A City too Stupid to Look at YOU as Such."

Posted by: Dan S. on May 12, 2005 02:21 AM

What does this remind me of?

Why, it reminds me of the current mess up in the Great White North. The one called AdScam, that the Gomery Commission is investigating and no one is supposed to talk about, but it started with the same premise: the government spending millions of dollars on advertising.

Now, instead of trying to come up with the slogan for your dumkopf Mayor, put some energy into figgering out who he is going to funnel the $$$ to, and what that person had to do with his last election effort.

Your mayor sounds like he is too dumb to reinvent corruption, so I'm guessing that he just stole the Canadian model.

Posted by: Rivrdog on May 12, 2005 03:52 AM

Kansas just got a new slogan, Kansas as big as you think. It used to be Kansas land of Ahs. For GIs stationed here it was usually Ah shit or ah fuck.

Posted by: Jeremy on May 12, 2005 09:32 AM

Atlanta: Little Mexico

Posted by: Shiraz on May 12, 2005 10:47 AM

How about...

-Lanta...We be all that!

Or as I heard at Underground once...
-What you lookin at whitie!

Posted by: doc on May 12, 2005 12:39 PM

Atlanta: It's just a flesh wound, quit whining...

Posted by: Bane on May 12, 2005 01:07 PM

I was in Atlanta for a convention once. Their slogan could be the final words that went through my mind as I left: "Atlanta. General Sherman was right!"

Posted by: Steve Lassey on May 12, 2005 02:20 PM

Have the Layover of Your Life!

Posted by: Bob on May 12, 2005 02:43 PM

Atlanta: Visit and feel better about your town!
Atlanta: We don't like Ted Turner either.

Hey Denny, do you know what MARTA stands for?
"Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta"

Posted by: Nick Bourbaki on May 12, 2005 04:18 PM

"What comes here ...stays here!"


"Manpanion Mecca"


"Livin' Larger Everyday."


"The City Sans Trees."


"The Big Urinal."


"The City where Hurricanes go to Die."

Posted by: Dan S. on May 12, 2005 04:28 PM

I first thought it said 'Brand AtlantaNS'! I was willing to pay good money to put a red-hot branding iron on a few notables up there. Alas.

Posted by: Glenmore on May 12, 2005 06:48 PM

Atlanta: The City Too Busy To Give A Fuck.

Posted by: Velociman on May 12, 2005 07:12 PM

Atlanta....Big Enough to Burn Again

Posted by: Zazbot on May 12, 2005 09:47 PM

ATLANTA - If it weren't for Tennessee coal miners and Florida whores, we wouldn't be here.

Posted by: Jon D on May 13, 2005 02:00 AM

Atlanta : World's greatest place to shit your pants.

Atlanta : The city with NO white people.

Posted by: assrot on May 13, 2005 09:40 AM

Atlanta: The Banana Republic on the Chattahoochee

Posted by: JoeB on May 13, 2005 10:16 AM

They could start by adding a few more names to the airport. One pundit suggested "Numerous Dead Mayors of Atlanta Airport". and they could focus on the city's "gay friendly" atmosphere. they could attract NAMBLA conventions!

Posted by: PGrossjr on May 13, 2005 08:34 PM
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