Columbus once again in the New York Times
July 31, 2010 1:46 pm at 1:46 pm #392274
EAGLE PASS, TEX.: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Where Yee-Haw meets OlÃƒÂ©Ã¢â‚¬Â
That is by far my favorite btw.July 31, 2010 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #392275
ja wrote >>
I think part of the identity problem is that Columbus is largely a transient city – a place holder for many people. They tend to identify with other cities from which they come and have less incentive to buy into Columbus.
Ever been to Los Angeles?
Maybe it’s time for us to do a serious postmortem on the Indie Art Capital initiative, which was the last time we tried to take the reins of the “lack of identity” horse to steer it in a new, positive direction.July 31, 2010 2:30 pm at 2:30 pm #392276
That slogan generator is the link of the millenium…even tops prison bitch name and shakespearean insult generators. All laughing aside, that’s probably as practical as any mode of creating a community slogan that there is, and far less costly.
I for one will appreciate my prom date (home town of Columbus) and not try to promote it for anything other than it is. The seeds for a community’s identity were planted long ago, for better or worse, and attempts at trying to present anything different smacks of an identity crisis. Heck, I’d rather embrace a negative identity that is at least honest and reflective than one that is generated in the same way as designs on a cereal box, with focus groups, etc..
Columbus is many things and I really don’t see attempts at wrapping it up in a slogan or identifiable “image” as being very fruitful. We only look silly and desperate in the process. And by the way, let’s either properly maintain that Santa Maria, set it sail (if it can) or sink the thing for the Great Lower Scioto Reef.July 31, 2010 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm #392277
I like Columbus: Undefined, but it’s almost more like Columbus: Indefinable.
And how is it that both Cleveland and Cincinnati have had their own TV shows? Where’s “Hot in Columbus?”July 31, 2010 2:38 pm at 2:38 pm #392278
drew wrote >>
I love this quote from the director of Experience Columbus:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are a diverse, youthful, knowledge-based community that is open to new ideas coming in,Ã¢â‚¬Â Mr. Astleford said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“That has not been the tradition in the Midwest.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Now lets look at how EC reflects this very smart and forward-thinking sentiment visually:
It makes me weep. I can’t imagine how much damage that godforsaken logo has done to perceptions of the city.
I *suspect* that someone thought that the design was clever in suggesting the architecture of the convention center through color and geometry. It doesn’t – certainly not to anyone who hasn’t seen the convention center, and probably not even to most who have.
It’s just bad. I’ve seen carny signs I could take more seriously, but this… this represents our city!
Good god this is so true. Well said…July 31, 2010 2:47 pm at 2:47 pm #392279
Think this business of having NO identity isn’t a complete idea.
When people think about things they don’t have strong feelings about
they simply expand the context of what they’re considering until
it provides enough information to draw a judgement about any
If I said, “Quick, what do you think of the corner of Oak and 18th?” some would know that corner, most would not.
If you knew it was in Olde Towne East, you could judge it based on that
If you had to scale up your context to ‘urban core’ you could create an identity of the corner based on that.
Continue to pull back to more broad and general geographic definitions until you have enough information to define it. It would go on to include Columbus, then Ohio, then Midwest, then United States, etc.
This is the mental process happens every moment in an instant of time.
THEREFORE I PROPOSE
Building a stage one campaign that acknowledges the perception of Columbus at the
level of context that people select when drawing conclusions.
I would also propose that the context that allows the most people, the most information
To address and acknowledge that we are Midwest can be the starting
point to clearing that perception and then redefining the city.
In a hypothetical campagin to brand Columbus, you would first
begin by challenging the current context of ‘midwest’
A slogan that represents this idea would be,
“Columbus: Midwest Reinvented.”
“Columbus is The New Midwest”
Once you address what we have been to people and
pique people’s interest in something new, you can start
building new meaning from scratch.
But first, what we are to most people (midwest) must be accurately addressed.
It’s not that we don’t have an identity. It’s that the identity we
have is collapsed up inside this greater idea of midwest or “flyover country”.
Address that, clear it out. Then build your message. Anything less is
trying to brand ON TOP of an existing identity, which is so large and
vague by nature, that no details we provide about Columbus will stick.July 31, 2010 2:55 pm at 2:55 pm #392280
Indefinable / Undefined is totally authentic, not manufactured, and true.
I have a request for this very important task force to consider when formulating this slogan:
Get the guts to tell the truth about Columbus. Go ahead and put a picture of “the biggest fair” and “the biggest gay pride parade” together on your poster or in your television commercial. Play up the alternative part of Columbus because it exists (and coexists like no other place I know). Hey, no other city does this! And it’s truth.
The best part about Columbus is its people. Both weird and normal.
Frustrated and tired, we have proved over and over again that we can’t define this place. What we all know is that we are a city of extreme dichotomy. Please don’t keep us boxed in the live/work/raise a family only thing.
“Indefinable” is so sweet, and with the right imagery and subtext, it would be genius. And true.
EDIT: Examples for the Indefinable commercial:
A leatherdaddy taking his kid to school, talking to the staid school marm teacher.
Zombies walking past people waving from a church stoop on a Sunday morning.
Gay pride parade CUT TO Memorial Day Parade
Andonandon. That’s Columbus. Seriously.July 31, 2010 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm #392281
It probably would be easier to rename the city. Columbus is a rather generic name, requiring specification of Ohio in the same breath. I agree with the previous poster that focusing and obsessing on Columbus’ identity does come across as a bit desperate and insecure.July 31, 2010 3:00 pm at 3:00 pm #392282
Just off the top of my head for lulz…
Columbus: Gateway to The Flatlands.
Columbus is US
Columbus: No navigable riversJuly 31, 2010 3:02 pm at 3:02 pm #392283
christylwilliams wrote >>
I like Columbus: Undefined, but it’s almost more like Columbus: Indefinable.
How about “Columbus: Untitled”?
And how is it that both Cleveland and Cincinnati have had their own TV shows? Where’s “Hot in Columbus?”
It was called Family Ties.July 31, 2010 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm #392284
Columbus: Something from nothingJuly 31, 2010 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #392285
When I visited another Columbus, Columbus, Indiana to be exact, the first thing to catch my attention was what they did as for ‘branding’ the town.
This is what I saw at the visitor center.
But, this was just a continuation of a graphic theme I noticed in the town. I thought of this when I saw the color scheme of JonMyers’s redo of the Experience Columbus logo.
They also took it a step farther and even put their “C” to use as a bike rack.July 31, 2010 3:10 pm at 3:10 pm #392286
killian.15ParticipantJuly 31, 2010 3:14 pm at 3:14 pm #392287
Columbus: Gayer than you imagined.
Columbus: Rebuilding the core one gayborhood at a time.
Columbus: Mid-Western Pride.July 31, 2010 3:17 pm at 3:17 pm #392288
Identity/ Former Cowtown/Pride-
Columbus: Steers and Queers, for real.
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