October 02, 2014

City Slogan Trademarks: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

by Guest Blogger

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


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".

10 02 14 Blog Nashville Music City For Twitter

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:

The lawyers at Trademarkology provide trademark registration services backed by the experience and service of one of the nation's oldest law firms. Click here to begin the process of protecting your brand name with a federally registered trademark.