So you’re a small city looking to re-brand yourself. You want to attract young vibrant people and businesses. You settle on the idea that you are a creative hub.
All very sensible.
But then when you are looking to generate creative executions that prove just how creative your city is, you decide that there is no firm in your city creative enough to do it. So you hire a company 1,066 miles away.
Of course it all proves worthwhile when they present a branding platform that proves how creative your capital city is because the tagline literally says “Creative capital.”
And then the creative executions deliver on the brilliant insight that the city’s name begins with—wait for it—a letter! A capital letter! Huzzah!
(If by now you haven’t picked up my bitter sarcasm you may want to see a doctor.)
As a tax payer, I am annoyed that I have contributed a dime to such a preposterous effort.
As an employee at a communications firm that prides itself on our creativity, oh, and that happens to be directly across the street from City Hall, I am downright offended.
Where to start?
You want a fresh original way to promote your city? Don’t hire a firm that churns out buzz-word blather: “brand armature,” “Community Brand Prints,” “BrandAMP (Action Management Plan)” and cookie-cutter creative for municipalities.
You want to demonstrate your creativity? Show it don’t say it. If you want to show that you’re trustworthy, you don’t say “Trust me.”
You want your city’s inherent creativity to generate economic activity? Why on earth would you ignore the dozens of design and advertising firms in your own zip code and send a check to Tennessee?
If you want to get as mad as I am, really let yourself soak in the details of the program: the oh-so-clever “triple entendre” at the heart of the tagline, the proposal to have chefs make food in the shape of a “P”(!), the bizarre poster concepts that simply look like pretentious parking signs.
OK. Deep breath. Am I over-reacting?