Sunday, May 21, 2006

Baltimore Seeks an Identity

From the Washington Times:

[Baltimore] is trying yet another promotional slogan, after decades of attempting to arrive at catchy, appropriate one.

City officials have declined to confirm the selection of the slogan "Get In On It," but the Baltimore Sun reports the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association has submitted four trademark applications to secure its use.

Early reviews for the slogan were mixed.

"I've seen some dumb ones in the past, but this is the dumbest," Maryland Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, also a former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor, said through a spokesman.

Baltimore City Councilwoman Rochelle Spector simply asked: "Get in on what?"

This is not the first time the city has been ridiculed for its slogans: "Charm City," "The City that Reads" and "The Greatest City in America."


City officials paid consultant Landor Associates $500,000 over the past nine months to come up with the slogan.

The newspaper reported other slogan finalists included "The City You Savor," "Breeze Into Baltimore," "All City, No Hurry" and the cryptic "Enjoy The Pace."

Nancy Hinds, a convention and visitors association spokeswoman, said the new slogan will be announced at a ceremony Wednesday, as the city prepares for the tourism season, and that it was just one element of a new branding strategy.


Landor Associates director of brand strategy, Susan Palombo, told Mayor Martin O'Malley in November that many people have a poor perception of Baltimore, largely because of such TV dramas which focus on the city's crime and drug problems.

Baltimore, as you may recall, is also known for weird education policies, a ranking as the nation's 6th most dangerous city (DC was 13th), and a city council that concerns itself more with Iraq than violence in the city or a failing school system.

Here's two suggestions: "Baltimore: Like DC, but without the monuments" or "Baltimore: Like DC, but not as safe."

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