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June 15, 2006

Manitoba’s New Slogan is Spirited Energy!

Manitoba's Spirited Energy logoMy first reaction to the new slogan was no reaction. That is, it wasn’t particularly positive or negative.

However, I applied Al Ries’s reverse strategy test. I said to myself, “Ontario does not have spirited energy. Reykjavik, Iceland does not have spirited energy. Las Vegas does not have spirited energy.”

In all three cases, these three geographies have spirited energy, as do many other countries, states, cities. Therefore, Spirited Energy for Manitoba fails the reverse strategy test.

What this says is that Spirited Energy is generic and could apply to any number of places. Strategically, a geography could implement a generic slogan provided it had sufficient spending behind it to pre-empt other places.

That’s obviously not the case with Manitoba. It’s not like McDonald’s “I’m lovin it” tagline, which could be said about any QSR restaurant, or almost any business. But since McDonald’s spends hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide, if not billions, to establish the tagline, it makes strategic sense. McDonald's can pre-empt the competition.

Net net: I can’t see how Manitoba could possibly establish Spirited Energy as its own with a $1 million advertising budget.

Now, for the logo. I’m one that likes the multiple blue colours (homage to our Canadian neighbours) since it conveys water and movement. After all, Manitoba has 110,000 lakes and hydro-power.

One Manitoban suggested that the shades of blue colors of the logo represented ethnic diversity. If you believe this, I have a bridge* I want to sell you.

The font treatment on the logo, although interesting, linking Manitoba with a script font makes it somewhat difficult to read.

However, what I’m most bothered about is Manitobans paid a New York based firm $600,000 for this slogan. Yes, it included research, logo design alternatives, a website, a video, and t-shirts. But $600,000? I couldn’t imagine this costing more than $200,000 with money to spare.

I think these tourism boards and economic development commissions in the U.S., Canada, and around the world, are a soft touch. It’s another example of a disappointing use of taxpayer dollars.

Regardless, we wish our good neighbours to the north a spirited and energetic future.

*Brooklyn Bridge

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Posted by William Lozito at June 15, 2006 1:54 PM
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Tracked on November 11, 2008 11:07 AM


waste of money

You make some great points and i would like to add this to my facebook group which is called bring back the friendly Manitoba slogan. is that ok with you and feel free to add yourself and post comments. its a waste of money and they want more now to get it promoted again.

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