Decent (adj.) -
1. Respectable, worthy. (Away with marketing that is interruptive, self-absorbed & sometimes downright awful!)
2. Kind. (Here's to marketers who really do put the consumer first. Who try to create a relationship, to forge a mutually beneficial bond.)
C'mon fellow marketing people! Get tough. Get smart. Get nice. Get DECENT.
So Atlanta launched its new tagline yesterday. I want your feedback, so I'll tell you what it is in a second. But first let me say that I've lived in Atlanta for 11 years now. I LOVE it here. It would take a LOT to get me to leave. In the past, I must admit, however, that I always told people it was a great place to live, but not to visit. I'm happy to say that is now changing. We've got "the Ted", as in Turner Field, where the Atlanta Braves play. Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot, has really revived the Atlanta Falcons and made it great fun to both root for them and to attend games. Bernie Marcus, the other co-founder of Home Depot, has just built the Georgia Aquarium. Opening this month, it is said to be the world's largest aquarium and I hear it really is fabulous. Coca-Cola is building a new museum/attraction. Architect Renzo Piano just completed the design for new buildings that doubled the size of the High Museum of Art. It now has a partnership with the Louvre in Paris to bring some of its collections here. We've got the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. (And let me just say if those NASCAR people are smart, they'll put the new NASCAR museum here as well.) We've got GREAT shopping -- nowhere else in the South will you find Neiman-Marcus, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom all at one intersection. We've have a top-notch restaurant scene. We have lots of big and interesting companies to work for, all you marketers out there, including Home Depot, Coca-Cola, UPS, Georgia-Pacific, Cingular, Chick-Fil-A, BellSouth and Newell-Rubbermaid. (Sorry Delta, I had to leave you off the list because of the whole bankruptcy thing.) Anyway, now that I've gone on and on about how much I love this place, let me thrill you with our new tagline:
Atlanta: Every day is an opening day.
Yep. That's it. That's what Brand Atlanta came up with. This is what we're hoping will compete with "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas". I can't quite put my finger on it, but it just doesn't work for me. Once all these new things have been opened, it will no longer be opening day, will it? I'm having a hard time thinking of what opens in February in Atlanta -- what if people show up and there's nothing opening that day? Yes, I know they were being figurative, but I wonder whether that line is compelling enough to spur people to act -- to plan conferences here and visit here for leisure. It just falls a little flat. Perhaps it's because I'm just not a baseball fan to begin with, and that's what I associate "opening day" with. I would have rather seen something more like "Atlanta: It's hot here all year long." That's a little more fun, playing off our location in the deep South, our unofficial moniker "Hotlanta" and the fact that we've got such a great restaurant scene, music scene, shopping scene, etc. OK, I know. I'm clearly NOT a copywriter, and I don't even play one on TV. But plenty of you are creatives. I know you're lurking out there with lots of interesting thoughts. What tagline would you have given us? Please share your ideas with Decent Marketing.
P.S. For all you smart alecks, don't send me anything stereotypical that mentions the Confederate flag or rednecks. I'll just delete it ... unless I find it really amusing personally.
My husband and I have noticed an interesting transformation happening with several cable network brands. Some of the more intellectual, educational networks have succumbed to reality TV hysteria, and it now seems that their content doesn't quite match the brand meaning as it was originally intended.
Consider A&E, the Arts and Entertainment Channel. If you read the description of A&E at their corporate site, it states:
Now reaching more than 88 million homes, A&E Network brings viewers the Art of Entertainment through a unique combination of three genres -- the Art of Biography, the Art of Documentary and the Art of Drama. A brand synonymous with excellence in television, A&E Network offers a diverse mix of programming ranging from critically acclaimed original series and movies, to innovative documentaries, to the Emmy award winning Biography series ...
If you watch A&E, you know they feature a lineup of such excellence in television as "Dog, the Bounty Hunter" (about a Hawaiian bounty hunting family), "Criss Angel Mindfreak" (about a David Blaine wannabe), and "Growing Up Gotti" (about the daily lives of the relatives of the famous mob boss). My husband is fond of asking: "Does this show represent the A or the E in Arts & Entertainment?" We've come to the conclusion that most of them probably represent the ampersand. Not that we don't love Dog, because he is in fact awesome, but these shows seem like strange bedfellows if you think back to the type of network A&E was when it was launched.
Then there's TLC, or the Learning Channel network. TLC features such shows as "What Not To Wear", "Trading Spaces" and "Overhaulin'". In my household, we've renamed it the Loser Channel, since it seems to be aimed at people who have no idea how to dress or decorate their home, and who drive cars in need of serious body work. When I think of TLC, I think of shows about space, and nature, and ... and ... "Sports Disasters"? As they describe it:
Through emotional storytelling, TLC seeks to unite, engage and empower people to transform their lives. TLC is one of the most valued entertainment brands in the marketplace today, a trusted place for viewers to find high-quality programming ...
High quality programming indeed. Should I watch "Miami Ink", about a tattoo parlor in Miami airing on TLC, or "Inked", about a tattoo parlor in Las Vegas airing on A&E? Decisions, decisions.
We probably pile into the car once a month for strawberry shakes (for my son and husband, who insist they're better than you can get anywhere else) and a double Snickers Blizzard for me. But you couldn't get me to buy food in that place on a bet. I have no interest in whatever food DQ has to offer unless that food is made from cream and sugar and is -16 degrees C (the typical serving temperature of ice cream, in case you were wondering -- and yes, I had to look that up).
According to the piece at Brandchannel they've introduced a Grill and Chill concept, which I must say just doesn't work for me. What I found more intriguing was this:
The company is working on a revision for its more than 1,000 locations that only serve treats called "Project Cornerstone." ... It will feature a significantly modernized look, a larger menu and an expanded "experiential" component of what customers see, smell and watch in the restaurant.
Experiential component. There's that word again. I'm wondering what they have up their sleeve. I hope it's really experiential, and not some simulation of experiential, like simply adding aromas to the restaurant or providing a back-of-the-house view of bored teens working ice cream blenders.
If you were going to reposition Dairy Queen, or DQ as I understand they now prefer to call it, what would you do?