July 7, 2006
Tourism Slogans: Could Pennsylvania Have Done Any Worse?
I almost don't know where to begin.
Everything that Pennsylvania did to create their new slogan was wrong.
Their new slogan is "I break for shoofly pie". Pennsylvania officials claim that most tourists know what shoofly pie is. If you believe this, once again, I have a bridge I want to sell you. By the way, shoofly pie is a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch molasses pie. But you knew that already. Yeah, right.
To compound the insult to our intelligence, tourists are supposed to take away that the "break" in "I break for shoofly pie" conveys getting out of your cars and taking a break from driving. Baloney.
And how did Pennsylvania select this slogan from all others? It had the residents of Pennsylvania vote on the slogan. What about the target market? Aren't potential tourists really the target market? This is like a company introducing a new product and having its corporate employees vote on the product name. Ridiculous.
I'm more than convinced, I'm sorry to say, that most tourism officials, not just Pennsylvania, don't know what they're doing when it comes to developing and testing a slogan.
If more than 17% of the U.S. population is aware of shoofly pie, I'll eat 53.75* slices of shoofly pie at Independence Hall.
*That's the number of Nathan's hot dogs that Takeru Kobayashi ate to win the 2006 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog contest.
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