Is The New Indiana Tourism Slogan The Worst Ever?
If you’re a regular reader, you know that we go out of our way not to be negative in Midwest Wine Press. But it’s hard not to criticize Indiana’s new tourism slogan.
The slogan unveiled recently by the Indiana Office of Tourism is: “Honest to Goodness Indiana.” (This is not an early April Fool’s joke, that’s the actual slogan.)
Both my parents were born and raised in Indiana and I’m an IU grad, so I have some idea what Indiana is about. To say that Indiana is all just one syrupy sweet amalgam, as the slogan implies, promotes the wrong image for attracting tourists.
If you’ve been to Indianapolis lately, you know it’s now a vibrant, modern city and worth checking out. For tourists, unglaciated Southern Indiana has great outdoor activities and fantastic wineries on the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail and elsewhere.
Indiana’s character comes more from its people than its landscape, however. The number of “famous” people from Indiana takes up 11 screens on Wikipedia. Indiana celebs include Steve McQueen, John Mellencamp, Carole Lombard, Jimmy Dean, Axl Rose, Michael Jackson and David Letterman.
If there’s a common denominator with people from Indiana, it’s their swagger and style without pretension. People from Indiana don’t try to act like they’re from someplace else. And Indiana does not care that the rest of the country hardly knows anything about the state. If anything, Indiana is an overly modest state, which does make it hard to write a tourism slogan for. How about, “You Won’t Have to Brag About Visiting Indiana.”
Meanwhile the Midwest’s best tourism campaign may get another $2m for 2015. Michigan governor Rick Snyder proposed an increase in total funding for the Pure Michigan ad campaign to $31 million for 2015. Michigan attracts more than four million out-of-state tourists each year, according to Michigan State University.
See related story: Michigan Wine is Pure Michigan