Saturday, May 12

America's Dairyland

Wisconsin wants to re-brand itself.

Wisconsin spent $22 million on advertising in the fiscal year that ended in 2005, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

According to a 2004 national survey by brand consulting firm Landor Associates, when people were asked what came to mind when they heard "Wisconsin," cheese and the Green Bay Packers were the top answers.

The cheesehead image is the product of "50 years worth of culture," Steve Eichenbaum, creative director for Milwaukee marketing firm Eichenbaum & Associates, said in an interview. "You're not going to take an ad campaign and turn that around in six months."

I guess there's nothing terrible about the whole cheesehead thing, except the high water mark for that was in the second half of the '90's. And there's much more to the state than cows and cheese, as depicted on the back of our state quarter.

How does one sum up the entire great state of Wisconsin into one little catchy marketable phrase? What the other states have chosen is here, here are some highlights:

  • Kentucky: Unbridled Spirit
  • Maryland: Seize the day off [!?]
  • Nebraska: Possibilities...Endless [just like the corn fields]
  • North Dakota: Legendary [boredom]
  • Pennsylvania: State of Independence [true, but also a car commercial]
  • Tennessee: The stage is set for you [I hate country music, but they're one of the more beautiful states]
  • Washington: SayWA! [What? I don't want to]
  • Idaho: Great potatoes, tasty destinations [pretty good]
  • Delaware: It's good being first [well, no one can take that from you]
  • Arizona: The Grand Canyon State [this will be their slogan forever]

Illinois' current slogan is "Mile After Magnificent Mile" which singularly promotes the Magnificent Mile, part of Michigan Ave., the main shopping district, in Chicago. I don't go places for shopping. Besides if you've ever driven to St. Louis through Illinois, you'll already have witnessed mile after magnificent mile for 5 hours.

A few years ago, I was in the middle of nowhere Kansas, as big as you think, talking to a guy from Oklahoma. When I mentioned that I was from Wisconsin he immediately mentioned hunting and the beauty of our state.

What to market? The MJS also has a user suggestion page. Do we go with our beer and agriculture, research and quality educations, beautiful outdoors (forests & lakes), sports and recreation, or something else?

From the suggestion page here are a few I like:

  • Tradition on the Cutting Edge
  • More than you ever thought possible
  • As deep as our lakes
  • Research Wisconsin
  • Visit your friends
  • the Good Life

My suggestion is "Forward to something Great" or "Forward to Great Things".

1 comment:

Erik Opsal said...

Illinois is by far the most boring state to drive through. I mean, in Iowa at least you have corn to look at. Illinois has nothing.