In business, as in art, we’re haunted by work that thrives despite its badness. We try to be noble and philosophical about it. But bad work, by our competitors, keeps us up at night.
These companies grow and flourish, despite their badness. We worry for our sanity. Then it inspires us to do better work ourselves — or to quit complaining and start our own company.
Many things haunted us when we launched Story Engine in 2011 but few things more than place branding.
Desperate cities, states, provinces, regions, and nations pay massive fees to advertising agencies to give them a new logo and tagline, hot colours, a website. They do a media buy: a campaign on television and online, on billboards, in magazines and newspapers.
The words themselves are interchangeable because, all along, the focus will be on tactics that profit the agency — not the place. The most unprofitable endeavour is research. Why not pull the answer from the shelf of slogans that have worked elsewhere?