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July 14, 2006

Manitoba's Spirited Energy Slogan Doomed

Manitoba's Spirited Energy logoI've been carefully Manitobans' reactions and sentiments toward Manitoba's new Spirited Energy slogan announced in June of this year.

I thought it was a misguided effort then, and I still think it is. Apparently, many Manitobans feel that way, too. Tom Brodbeck of the Winnipeg Sun has reconfirmed that the Spirited Energy slogan has been roundly criticized and ridiculed.

Tom took matters into his own hands yesterday, July 13th, inviting Manitobans to . Just today, Brodbeck reported on some he has received from Manitobans:

  • Manitoba - Heart of the Continent
  • Manitoba - The Jewel of the North
  • Manitoba - Prairie Paradise
  • Manitoba - Explore your Dreams
  • Manitoba - The Centre of it All

Oh, these didn't cost $600,000, which was paid to a naming consultant to come up with Spirited Energy.

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Posted by William Lozito at July 14, 2006 1:44 PM
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All that this slogan is convincing me of is to move my 20-something ass to alberta. Spirited Energy? I want nothing to do with a slogan that lame.


I don't blame you for wanting to move, but changing the Spirited Energy slogan may make more sense.

I think what's being missed here is that ANY slogan they came up with would be criticized and mocked.

Branding is about distilling a complex concept into a simpler form in order to promote it. It's an absolutely essential aspect of marketing. However, people naturally hate to be "summarized," and an attempt by a third party to brand any group of people is naturally going get a lot of backlash.

What's the answer? Should Manitoba have simply held a contest for citizens to come up with their new slogan so that nobody gets offended? No way. This only leads to bland, middle-of-the-road solutions that everyone can smile and nod at, but which flop in the marketplace. ("Manitoba - The Centre of it All"? Are you serious?)

No, the right thing for them to do is to come up with a pretty good campaign, and then (and this is the important part) stick with it. It doesn't have to be perfect--a brand never can be--but it does have to be good enough to work with. Frankly, while "Spirited Energy" is easy to mock, it's also a fairly good slogan as far as tourism slogans go.

On a side note, I really wish that brand-related blogs (like this one), would spend a lot less time pointing fingers and poking fun at what other firms are doing wrong, and more time explaining how to do it right. It's easy to hassle the guys who came up with "Spirited Energy," but where's your recommended alternative slogan?

(Looking through your portfolio, I'm seeing a lot of not-so-hot names that would be easy targets for this same type of criticism. I'd love to see you guys deconstruct your own work.)

I don't want to tell you guys what to write about; just thought I'd offer some feedback from a reader's perspective.

To anyone in the province the name makes you think of drunk first nations (or whatever they want to be called now) people.

That is the bottom line, and any politician who didn't see that coming had there head up there a$$.

You don't fix a province by creating a slogan. You do it by fixing a province.

You can't create a slogan out of something that isn't there and then expect that it will magically be true.

I've been job hunting recently and got pretty miffed at the Winnipeg Free Press a few weeks ago. Their story was about how there are lots of jobs out there . Oh yes... lots of almost-minimum-wage, part-time, must-be-available anytime jobs with unguaranteed hours. Most jobs ads in the paper give you almost no details about the job. Having just gone through University, I can't say as I'm particularly impressed with local industry's relationship with students either (except the School of Management... they're spoiled buggers.)

I think Manitoba businesses have the biggest impact upon our view of our province.

Businesses were whining about everyone moving to Alberta. I would ask a business "What are YOU doing to encourage people to stay here?" That's what I would tell a person who was blaming everyone else for their problems except themselves.

I've seen so many businesses who give the minimum to their employees and expect the world back.

what bothers me, is that some of our politicians do not have enough common sense to realize that spending $600, 000 for a logo is unbelievably stupid, with no regard to value for money spent!!!

I still don't get why the name is being changed anyway, whats wrong with friendly manitoba? Maybe they should spend the money on our highways.

Spirited energy?????????/ What the hell does that mean?? Drunken Hyperness???? My Dog's ass could come up with something better. Gee, I wonder why everyone is moving to Alberta????????????What's Their slogan anyways, " Stealing Manitoba".All my friends are there anyways so I guess all the heavily spiritted ones remain.I guess they should call it," Too Drunk To Leave".

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