Thursday, May 12, 2005

Vinnie says, give him an extreme makeovah, boys

Boring the foreigners:

Spurred by market research that the number of travellers coming to Canada is on the decline, the Canadian Tourism Commission no longer believes that promises of "Mounties, mountains and moose" are enough.
Can't we keep that nice liquid alliteration? "Mobsters, manila, and money" sounds like a place for some adventure. "Kickbacks, Body Packs, and Cash in Stacks" is a bit more gangsta than gangster, but it's more fun to say.
Instead of picturesque images of vast prairies, dramatic coastlines or majestic mountains, potential travellers will soon be seeing advertising that promises "experiences" and "adventures" in a welcoming, culturally-diverse country.
Anybody remember the dismal "Culture.ca" billboards from a couple of years ago? (Parodied at the bottom of the blogroll-column.)

A typical one consisted entirely of a foreground closeup of an old lady from the waist up looking at you, with a camera poised at her chest as if to shoot and a grin on her face like the creepy old lady in the limo at the start of Mulholland Drive. The background of the image was... a solid colour. That was *it* -- well, the old lady plus the "Culture.ca" logo. No attempt at any suggestion of any actual "culture" was made -- just an old lady in a print dress having a non-specific great time with a camera. The philistine emptiness and vacancy of it all...

Now they want to bore the international market with Canada Dull.

National symbols like moose and mountains are outdated and cannot be said to owe their existence to government programs or the achievements of national socialism and must be replaced by... nothing at all.
As part of its effort to take the emphasis off Canada's natural wonders, the slogan "Discover your true nature" is also being tossed in favour of the new tag line:

"Canada. Keep Exploring."
Ha ha ha - that can be read as, "Canada. Look Elsewhere."

Shades of "London, Ontario: We're All Mixed Up!"
According to McKenzie, the phrase has been coined to speak to anyone and everyone who ever thought of visiting.

"We had to find a way to define Canada's vast and diverse country, with one simple yet compelling brand promise -- one that had universal appeal to translate across the world's many languages and cultures," she said.
Thus abandoning any possibility of, like, actual specific meaning.

If you can comfortably say your slogan while yawning, it is a bad slogan. I did it unintentionally as I read it aloud which is even worse.

So we are going to pay gangland prices for yet more crappy advertising that makes Canada sound boring.

(I can't believe they'd come out with an advertising campaign now.)

1 Comment:

MapMaster said...

With the proper applications in brown envelopes, you could get yourself a nice big Liberal advertising contract. Great post, Mike.