Meaningless Slogans No. 5769

BBC NEWS | England | West Yorkshire | Row over second-hand city slogan

This is a hoot (Leeds in-joke). Two things need to be said. First, in answer to the councillors who asked whether the city has got value for £150,000 research and launch costs, the answer is NO. The second thing, leaving aside the breathtaking incompetence of a firm that can charge that sort of money for a second hand slogan, is – what the hell does it mean? Live what? Love what? The “it” can only refer to the city, so I suppose charitably we could say the slogan suggests that the reader will love Leeds – the verb’s in the command form, so we don’t apparently have a choice. But live it? How do I “live” a city? If we must have marketing slogans for places – and I seriously doubt we do – at least let’s have ones that mean something. It’s asking too much of course. Personally, if I were Leeds council, I’d be asking for my money back. And if they really want a slogan, organise a competition in the city’s schools, and give the winner a book token. It’ll be bound to come up with a better idea than this vacuous nonsense. It makes the “Marketing Leeds” puffery all the more laughable – their website says ” Come back soon to see how the cream of Leeds enjoyed the Marketing Leeds launch party and the much-anticipated unveiling of the new Leeds brand.”

I’m tempted to add that Leeds has a city motto -Pro rege et lege – that at least has some dignity. The current campaign, apart from being nicked from Hong Kong of course, is more reminiscent of Macd*nald’s “I’m lovin’ it” than anything. But that’s what comes of trying to sell a place as if it were a burger, I suppose.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Meaningless Slogans No. 5769 by Dr Rob Spence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

8 Responses to “Meaningless Slogans No. 5769”

  1. Francessa:
    How useless is “Vienna is different”? I loved the link – though somehow, I don’t think I’ll be visiting the “artichoke capital of the world” any time soon…

  2. Which is the artichoke capital, I wonder? I think the notion of difference is only useful as a form of demarcation from something. And although our city fathers wanted the “Vienna is different” to have a positive connotation – we now have all kinds of strange slogans from the right wing area, such as: Vienna must not become Chicago, or, recently, Istanbul, which is very bad taste.

  3. …and England have just beaten Austria, despite the sending off of Beckham following a laughable dive by the Austrian player…
    Horrible to hear of the way some Viennese are using the slogan – maybe they should look at the multicultural nature of the England team that beat their lads…

  4. Oh, did you see the game? I missed it because of some deadline-thing! Congratulations! It was clear we’d get cold feet as they say here. As regards multiculturality – every team I know has between 3 and 6 different nations, even the Austrians. These are the foreigners they want.

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