Tag Archives: Advertising Age

For real

The City of Buffalo has long been the butt of jokes. Even my father, who’s from there, used to say that Buffalo came into being when “they cloned Cleveland.”

This week, there are new jokes as Buffalo—The City of Good Neighbors, The Queen City, The City of No Illusions, The Nickel City, Queen City of the Lakes, City of Light—takes on a new motto: “Buffalo For Real.”

I learned about this not from the city’s own announcement, which includes a new tourism video, but from the swell of snickers and criticisms from within Western New York and around the country. The blogosphere bubbles with mockery while Twitter tee-hees abound.

Advertising Age slammed the slogan, calling it meaningless. (But do check out their map of the most absurd city slogans in the United States.) Buffalonians don’t appear to be crazy about it either, but they’ve been quick to come to the defense of their city, as they are often called to do, pointing to the depth of Buffalo’s history and culture. One commenter suggested “Buffalo: Leave for the weather, come back for everything else.” Commenters from other cities were cruel (“Denver: at least it’s not Buffalo”), while others were happy to be out of the spotlight for their own cities’ inane slogans.

But back to Buffalo For Real. If the city’s marketeers had consulted me, I’d have suggested some punctuation. Mabye a comma or a colon following Buffalo. On the surface, “Buffalo For Real” does sound a little meaningless. But if you look at the campaign, there’s a broader theme: Buffalo for art, Buffalo for architecture, Buffalo for families, Buffalo for food, for nature, for history, for shopping, for sports, for performing arts. The tourism video addresses the “real” part. The narration holds the city’s past troubles and blemishes up to the light and assures visitors of the vast rejuvenation taking place. “We’ve had our share of hard knocks.” “Some might say that time has left our town behind.” “Neighborhoods given up for dead are being given new life.” Even the snow has an honored place in the script.

Juxtaposed against tourist destinations in which weather is the draw, with little authenticity behind sun and spa, Buffalo stands out as real. Blue collar and white collar workers alike have withstood decades of economic devastation and year after year of bone-chilling temperatures. The people remain ever cheerful, trust me. The city by Niagara Falls has a lot to be proud of.

I like the new slogan. I just wish the video had been narrated by someone with a Buffalo accent.

Now that would be real.

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Filed under All Things Wordish, Marketing/Advertising/PR, Technology and Social Media, Travel

Weird news day

I don’t tweet much. Once a day or so, just to blast out blog updates.

On Twitter, I follow more than am followed. I follow 26 people and only 15 follow me. I really must do something about this.

The reason I follow most of the tweeters I do is to get information. While it might be mildly relevant to know where someone is lunching, I am more interested in newsier Tweets. These often include items that don’t make the major newspapers, are written with esoteric angles or are relevant to narrow industry sectors. Or they’re just plain funny. Those I follow are publications mostly—The New Yorker, Fast Company, Vanity Fair, Advertising Age, Politico. Freaknomics puts out good stuff. I’ll make another pitch here for Fake AP Stylebook.

One night recently, as I was scrolling the latest Tweets before bed,  the most bizarre collection of headlines jumped off the screen.

I wondered how these would look to someone having just awakened from a decade or two of hyperbaric sleep and wanted to catch up on the latest developments in fashion, politics, the environment, cable news or travel. Then again, Twitter in and of itself might buckle the brain of anyone who’s been out of touch for, say, 10 years.

Here is just a sample of the headlines I read within in just five minutes’ time:

New York Fashion Week to Include Designer Sex Toys

Barbara Boxer aide charged with possession of pot

China Beats U.S. to First Offshore Wind Farm

Scandal Glossary: The Complicated Past of Piers Morgan, Larry King’s Replacement

Airport “Naked” Body Scanners Get Privacy Upgrade to Anonymize Your Naughty Bits

Pinch me; I must still be dreaming.

Please remember, there are no blog updates on Sundays. I’ll be opening the Sunday paper with caution.

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Filed under News, Politics, Reading, Technology and Social Media

Never on Sunday

What’s your favorite fast food restaurant?  Okay, okay, if you had no other option but to eat on the run, what would be your choice? 

Mine is Chick fil-A.  I’ve totally bought into their Save the Cow campaign, EAT MOR CHIKIN (I won’t fault a cow for poor spelling).  But also, even though I’ve got no beef with beef, those nasty fast food burgers can pretty hard to choke down.

My husband’s a McDonald’s man, so when we’re on the road, that’s where we go.  All hail the Dollar Menu.

But when it’s my choice alone, I choose the Chick.

For better or worse, Chick-fil-A is different from the other chains in three ways that I can discern.  One, the place offers no hamburgers.  I am sure their chicken sandwiches are loaded with fat and calories and all kinds of nasty stuff, but they taste pretty good on their buttered buns after a long stretch in the car.  Two, their employees bend over backwards to be nice and helpful.  Three, they are not open, and apparently never will be, on Sundays.

They take a lot of heat for it too.  From mall owners and customers for obvious reasons, but also from a few employees and observers who criticize the staunch position held by company founder S. Truett Cathy, a devout Christian who remains firm in his position to put family and worship ahead of business.  Over the years, the company has gotten in some legal and PR hot water for some of its policies.  I just hope the company is taking these seriously and treating people fairly.

That aside, though, it is hard to fault a business owner for closing down one day a week, for whatever reason.

In a recent interview for Advertising Age magazine, Chick-fil-A’s vice president of marketing David Salyers was asked what he thought would  you think would happen first, a hamburger on the menu, or a Chick-fil-A opening on a Sunday? Salyers answered, “Definitely a hamburger on the menu.  Not even close.”

I too take Sundays off, in part as my own Sabbath observation and in part to rest, renew and be better at what I do.  I just hope my CHIKIN cravings pop up on the other six days.

See you Monday.

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Filed under Food, Marketing/Advertising/PR