I recently wrote a blog about Cape's slogan -- "Where the River Turns A Thousand Tales" -- and how the marketing firm that created it implied on their website that the motto is responsible for local hotel stays and/or receipts increasing 30 percent since its implementation six years ago.
I pointed out that there were a lot of other factors weighing in on this increase and that a whole bunch of them had nothing to do with their marketing magic.
And I also mentioned that the slogan is excruciatingly lame.
A half-dozen or so readers agreed with my take on the situation and offered some alternatives to our town's marketing motto.
Megalomania suggested "Where the river turns a thousand tales, but just no paddle wheel boats." The paddle wheel part is accurate, although truthfulness does not always inspire siteseers. Sometimes you have to lie.
Poster Just__Me says our current slogan reminds him of prostitutes and the slang "turning tricks." For some reason, I don't think that motto would get the greenlight from the CVB although it does inspire a certain kind of tourism, but probably not the kind we would really want to encourage.
"Where the City Passes a Thousand Taxes." was proposed by Lumpy. He said another poster came up with it a few months ago during another online discussion. It's not bad and it is pretty accurate. However, it probably wouldn't be too appealing to the tourist crowd.
While we all live around here and know these lived realities, the city's slogan is not meant to inspire US to visit Cape. It's meant to inspire THEM to visit Cape. You know, the tourists, and you never mention taxes to tourists. If they hear about our high taxes, they may go shopping elsewhere where taxes are lower, like Dutchtown or Gordonville.
TommyStix felt that "City of Roses" was already a great slogan although Megalomania did point out that the city is woefully lacking in those flowers. However, he also suggested a workable solution to that problem. Megalomania proposed tearing down the old Federal Building and planting a rose garden.
I think that's a great idea. Well, as long as we scatter a few comfy benches around the garden. You know, for all the homeless people we have loitering around town.
Gurusmom didn't have any logo suggestions although she doubted that any slogan actually inspires tourism. I think she's right. Would you visit The Big Apple, just because you liked cobbler? And while I personally like a nice breeze, why would anyone want to visit Chicago just because they'd heard it was windy?
All of these slogan suggestions made me contemplate a few of my own.
I first considered "Gateway to Southern Illinois." It's definitely accurate. Of course, everyplace is a gateway to someplace else. We're also the Gateway to the Bootheel, Arkansas, Jackson, Fruitland, heck that list is practically endless. And I don't think any of those variations would inspire anyone to visit our town. So I nixed that as a possible option.
We could also promote our city's French-Canadian heritage. "Cape Girardeau. French Name, Southern Hospitality." would be appropriate. However, based on the number of ethnic restaurants in this town, you would think we were founded by either Mexicans or Chinese.
It is funny that we don't have a French restaurant in town and the closest thing to that cuisine are crepes at Denny's. Or I guess I should say, Le Denny's.
We might also we play up the surly reputation that the French tend to have and use reverse psychology to boost tourism. I bet a slogan like "Yes, We're French. Now, Go Away." would have tourists clamoring to come here by the droves because they think we don't want them here.
As an added bonus, locals could be as rude as they wished to the tourists and they would expect it. Being nice would NOT be part of our local charm.
When I was writing this blog, our weather was just gorgeous. That made me think that "Cape Girardeau. Just Like San Diego, Two Weeks A Year." might also be a viable entry. I think it is accurate. Collectively, we have about two weeks worth of gorgeous weather a year, before our local environment shows its true colors -- heat, humidity, and bugs in the spring, summer and fall, and ice, snow and cold in the winter.
While I like emphasizing our environment, a lot of people might not appreciate the comparison if they haven't been to southern California.
That's why I really think "Cape Girardeau. Where Heaven and Humidity Meet." would be a good slogan. It's both accurate and original. Well, the humidity part is certainly accurate. And who's to say what Heaven really looks like. Perhaps, that Rice fellow is privy to that information. Maybe that's why he is so keen on opening a homeless shelter here.
Perhaps, Heaven could be Cape Girardeau.
Go ahead and disprove it.
My Google stats keep dropping and my Yahoo searches keep climbing. Over the last week Google dropped to 772 while Yahoo climbed to 2930.
As far as my cat's Twitter account stats she's up to 22 followers. She had a high of 26 at one point last week. Her Twitter account is patchthecat.