Tourism is big business. It generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 14.9 million American jobs according to the U.S. Travel Association. Many cities are branding themselves to compete for these tourism dollars. These branding efforts often lead to the development of slogans that are protected by federally registered trademarks. While some of these federally registered trademarks capture the spirit of their respective cities, most sound good but effectively say nothing. Some may actually make you want to stay away.
Here are some of my favorite federally registered trademarks for city slogans:
Las Vegas, Nevada - WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS STAYS IN VEGAS, U.S. Reg. No. 3,848,214
Hershey, Pennsylvania - HERSHEY THE SWEETEST PLACE ON EARTH, U.S. Reg. No. 2,788,853
Eagle Pass, Texas - WHERE YEE-HAH MEETS OLÃ, U.S. Reg. No. 3,292,768
Nashville, Tennessee - NASHVILLE MUSIC CITY, U.S. Reg. No. 4,294,331
Huntsville, Alabama - HUNTSVILLE THE SKY IS NOT THE LIMIT., U.S. Reg. No. 4,015,044
While the above-mentioned trademarks effectively highlight the unique qualities of their respective cities, I'm not sure how believable these slogans are:
Springfield, Missouri - "EVERYWHERE SHOULD BE LIKE THIS", U.S. Reg. No. 2,500,414
Menominee, Michigan - MENOMINEE MICHIGAN WHERE THE BEST OF MICHIGAN BEGINS, U.S. Reg. No. 4,004,178
These slogans don't do much to make me want to visit:
Boulder Junction, Wisconsin - MUSKY CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, U.S. Reg. No. 914,488
Newport, Oregon - THE DUNGENESS CRAB CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, U.S. Reg. No. 3,537,860
I'm not sure what these slogans mean:
Marshall, Missouri - SMART DOG, NICE FOLKSâ¦, U.S. Reg. No. 3,456,140
Rogers, Arkansas - ROGERS ARKANSAS WHERE POSSIBLE LIVES, U.S. Reg. No. 4,249,123
Warrensburg, Missouri - WARRENSBURG MISSOURI . . . MADE FRESH DAILY, U.S. Reg. No. 3,672,862
Memphis, Tennessee - MEMPHIS: AMERICA'S AEROTROPOLIS, U.S. Reg. No. 3,703,817
Of course, branding is not just limited to developing catchy slogans. Cities are pursuing other means of differentiating themselves from the competition. As noted above, Nashville is known as "Music City".
In a unique approach, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp paid for a documentary about Nashville's music industry to attract travel and tourism. Butch Spyridon, president of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp, explained his decision to make the documentary as follows:
Music is the differentiation, that's what will make people pick here. I think the quality of the film and the depth is helpful to anybody and everybody in the city. I hope there's a sense of pride if you live here, but how it shows Nashville as a creative community, should be of value to us as we do work around the country.
The hour-long documentary, called "For the Love of Music: The Story of Nashville," aired in the U.S. on ABC last November and in Australia in March. Here's the trailer:
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