Monday, November 14, 2005

Hotlanta On the Road to Boring Brand

Is Atlanta's new slogan contextually relevant?

Al Ries thinks not and Al Ries knows branding for sure.

He writes in Ad Age:

Although it has become widely known as 'Hotlanta,' Atlanta elected to invent a new slogan for its brand campaign.

After 8 months of gestation, the new logotype and theme for the Brand Atlanta campaign was just introduced.

“Opportunity. Optimism. Openness” is the new, compelling branding strategy backed by a red-and-white trademark with the letters “ATL” highlighted.

Opportunity, optimism, openness: Sounds like a slogan for the state of Ohio and not a very good one at that. I’ll guarantee that few people will remember the three Os, let alone connect them with a name that doesn’t have a single O in it.
Al goes on to further chide Atlanta for abandoning a brand it already owned in our minds ... but notes some pretty big companies have made the same mistake.

You get a new ad agency and the first thing they want to do is reposition the brand (cause they sure won't win any awards using some other agency's branding).

Our company, Cincom Systems, has recently launched a new brand ... well, actually, we kind of re-launched our old brand. For a few years, we had veered off with a slogan that emphasized our experience in the software industry. We returned to our roots with branding built around what Cincom Systems has done well for 37 years ... build and market software that simplifies complex business processes.

So maybe it's not too late for the Mayor of Atlanta to ditch the O's and return with gusto to 'Hotlanta' -- a slogan that breathes excitement into one of the fastest growing cities and entertainment destinations in America.

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