Wednesday, April 12, 2006

What would make you want to come to Utah?

The State of Utah just paid $400 grand for a new slogan: "Life Elevated" and some new graphics to advertise the state. My opinion of consultants has not been improved. A while back they promoted the slogan, "Utah, a pretty, great state!" Notice the comma between "pretty" and "great"? Most people didn't and even if they did, it was hardly going to make anybody want to come here. The comments from the hometown folk are kinder than I am. I think I agree with Garr Ovard.

The two main tourist attractions for Utah are the "Greatest Snow on Earth" and the National Parks. Maybe something about slopes and cliffs would work, but "life elevated" doesn't say anything, without something else.

There's a local brewery that names all its beers with names mocking the Mormon church adorned with sexy graphics. Its "Polygamy Porter" worked well, but it annoyed most of us Mormons. It also had one called "Provo Girl" based on St. Pauli Girl, but the only one that seems to have stuck was polygamy. They're promoting "Evolution Amber ale," with a dig at intelligent design. I guess that earns points with the non-Mormons who hate the local culture, but it seems kind of weak to me.

Our Quarter is coming up, and I'm worried they'll mess it up with too many symbols. A Sandstone arch, a skier and the Mormon Temple, for example. The non-LDS folks DO NOT want anything like the Beehive, Brigham Young, Covered Wagons or anything else to remind them that the state was settled by Mormons. If they have to have several images, I'd say use one from Arches National Park, one from Canyonlands, one from Bryce Canyon and one from Zions Park. Utah has more national parks than any other state. I just hope they don't use this "Life Elevated" theme or the ugly logo they sold us.

The fact is that when most people hear Utah, they think of Brigham Young, women in sunbonnets and covered wagons, and maybe the LDS Salt Lake Temple. It's pretty obvious that they don't think of a happening nightlife, and I don't think it's useful to focus so much on the past. Mormons don't want to be confused with the Amish, not that there's anything wrong with that. The problem is trying to describe the whole state without slighting one area. It's Red Rocks and Sandstone cliffs and canyons in the south and Mountains and snow in the north. Then there are the salt flats, and the Great Salt Lake, neither of which offer much to see or do. Maybe they should just choose "Big Love!"

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