Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wisconsin's new logo - edgy or square?

From article linked above:
Coming up with the slogan and accompanying logo — which shows a silhouetted figure doing a cartwheel across letters spelling out Wisconsin — cost $50,000, Klavas said. The money came from the department's annual $10 million marketing budget.
Say, I can come up with better stuff than that for 1/10 the price. Whoever got this assignment must have embarrassing Polaroids of the decision-maker.

Thing is, numerous other brands, including a wine, have used the tagline, "Live like you mean it." There's even a diet book with that title. So the State of Wisconsin paid for a pre-owned tagline? Yes, that's what the Wisconsin folks decided they wanted. How about the "branding" agency creating a distinctive brand like they mean it? Would that have been too much trouble?

And how about that guy doing a handstand on top of the logo? Is that what you do when you're living like you mean it? And what would you do if you DIDN'T mean it?

I can just imagine the deep thought behind the decision to use the silhouette of a man (as opposed to a woman or a neutral-gendered illustration) as the guy who lives like he means it. Here's how the conversation probably went: Boss: "Well, we're trying to attract businesses. They're usually run by men. So we'll use a guy." Flunky: "Yeah, boss, that makes perfect sense."

I guess women and children can live their lives without meaning in Wisconsin.

This kind of chuckleheaded, hackneyed work should not be called "branding." It should be called, "Letting the client have what s/he wants and collecting an outrageously big check."


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