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PR Idea of the Week

My college roommate had an umbrella that said Alabama: Open for Business. It became a joke we said to each other whenever it rained. But here it is a decade later and I remember that tag line.

Maybe because that branding made us pause to think about Alabama in a new way. If the umbrella had said, Alabama: Come tour the Old South or Alabama: Not as Backward as you Might Think, I don't think it would have made as much of an impact.

Here in Dayton, we ["we," as in all people of greater Dayton have a stake in this] have just launched a new branding campaign:

I think it does a good job of saying We are doing smart things here in Dayton, you should check it out. Our previous tag lines seemed to say Um, hi, we invented the airplane here and the ice cube tray, so please look down and smile or something next time you fly over.

I especially like the part about originals wanted. It's a call to action. While our previous slogans seemed to try way too hard to convince people we were cool. This new one just assumes a level of hip and then invites the reader to join--but only if they too are hip enough for Dayton.

In Detroit, their new branding just focuses on the D and their cool image and doesn't even mess around with a tag line--an intentional step, because they know that people always gripe about tag lines.

So... Dayton Originals: Are we ready to start thinking about living and working in Dayton as something to achieve--rather than something to apologize for? 'Cause if we don't want to be here, who in their right minds would join us?


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