Judging by the dozens and dozens of slogans you sent us, Rhode Island should top any tourist's bucket list.
We're first in religious tolerance, you pointed out in several creative slogans. Birthplace of the industrial revolution in America. Seed bed of democracy. Home of the nation's first resorts, one of you reminded us. Lots of you acknowledged the fact that we're small, but we've got big fun, big hearts, and big opportunity. In fact, we're so proud of our size it should be a selling point ("Size doesn't matter," submitted one of you). We might be small, but we've got 400 miles of coastline ("The most coast to boast!"). And if that doesn't lure you, consider the fact that Taylor Swift lives here. And no, we're not ashamed of our mobster-filled past. Mobster rhymes with lobster, you know, so we could go with that. If all else fails, one of you told us, at least we're "Not New Jersey" (apologies to New Jerseyans).
So many great slogans. Thank you to everyone who participated!
Alas, we can only pick one winner. But we need your help. We've narrowed it down to three of our favorites. Now you choose the best. We'll feature the winner and his or her slogan on air. And who knows, maybe the state's next tourism ad agency will come knocking!
Speaking of ad agencies, we asked our friends at Nail in Providence for some guidance on what makes a great slogan. Thoughts from Nail creative partner Alec Beckett, below the ballot.
Vote for your favorite by Friday, July 17.
Alec Beckett, creative partner at Nail, on what makes a great slogan (full disclosure, Nail might bid on Rhode Island's RFP for a new tourism ad agency):
"A slogan is a single, short, memorable phrase that embodies an organization's meaning, aspirations and raison d’être.
Finding the perfect slogan is always very difficult. Largely because it is impossible. Three or four words simply can't do everything all by themselves. Which is why it's worth remembering that a slogan's real power grows as it is invested with meaning through long-term, consistent use in marketing communications.
With that in mind, we should try to judge prospective slogans not so much by what they are, but by what they can become.
I think this is particularly worth remembering for a campaign that is in the public eye the way a state-sponsored tourism campaign is. Critiquing a marketing campaign by its slogan is like deciding whether a movie is any good based only on its title. But it’s the simplest, easiest thing to wrap your head around (and criticize mercilessly… of course).
Which is why you’re having a slogan-writing contest rather than a contest to determine which geo-retargeting strategy makes the most sense!"