Monday, 11 January 2010

Dunedin looks to revamp its image

The city of Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand is on the hunt for a new slogan. The city's marketing team have decided to drop the current nondescript slogan I am Dunedin, which it admits is getting a bit old.

The city is apparently planning a nationwide search for a new slogan and marketing strategy. The I am Dunedin slogan was introduced by the City Council in 2001, replacing the similarly nondescript branding campaign, That’s the Spirit of Dunedin.

Dunedin is also known as 'The Edinburgh of the South', but its most recognisable slogan was in the late 80s/early 90s with the bubbly It's all right here, which came with its own catchy little campaign song.

However it was often confused with (or replaced by) the lacklustre 'It's alright here', or more recently by locals as 'It's a Riot here' after a run of late night street parties by the city's students (and friends).

(Unfortunately Otago University took the antics all a bit seriously, invoking 'Code of Conduct' clauses to kick students out, forcing the cancellation of the annual First Year Toga Parade through Dunedin's main street, cutting up sponsorship contracts with alcohol companies, and trying to buy up pubs close to campus with the stated intent of simply closing them down. In the words of their own marketing campaign, Get Over It!)

But Dunedin still wouldn't come close to winning the award for the country's worst city/town slogan. Te Puke probably scores New Zealand's top prize for its former pearler - Stop and taste Te Puke - which didn't go down well with tourists not used to pronouncing the town's name.

Hamilton's old slogan was a sign of self esteem, More than you'd expect. South Canterbury is also big on hopeful dreams. For years Rolleston has branded itself The Town of the Future, but the future has so far refused to move in.

Timaru tries to assure tourists the town still has a pulse with its slogan Feel the Heartbeat, while Mayfield somewhat optimistically informs motorists Blink and you will miss out. But there's no holds barred in keeping visitors in Ashburton, which loudly proclaims Whatever it takes!

There are some chirpier slogans around New Zealand though. Kerikeri goes the happy route, with It's So Nice They Named It Twice, while Matamata opts for comfort, You matter in Matamata.
In the Southland town of Tuatapere, large signs proudly declare it New Zealand's Sausage Capital, but to be fair I don't think anyone else is actually challenging for the title.

Invercargill has the more cryptic The City of Water and Light, perhaps referring to the fact that it's always raining in the south, but that doesn't deter the boy racers.

In Wanganui, they're still debating whether or not the town's new slogan should have an H in it (Whakit, it's still the same old place), although Wanganui used to have more optimism, telling people It’s well worth the journey.

Some places don't even bother with a slogan, although Shag Point (south of Moeraki) could do with one. It's never really lived up to its obvious potential as a hotspot for young luvvin' ;-)

Can you help Dunedin City come up with a world-beating new slogan and brand? Avid Twitterers have been busy tweeting their suggestions already...

@five15design: At least it will be dry in the Stadium

@five15design: We've only had a couple of mass murders

@zazie9: Dunedin: Four seasons in one day, three of them are winter

@CherylBernstein: Dunedin: Not nearly as bad as Invercargill

@ajamesgreen: Dunedin, Edinburgh of the South (but with more rain)

@ajamesgreen: I can see Antartica from my house

@markleggett: It's not that cold. Harden up. Dunedin.

@Artandmylife: If you like bagpipes, you'll LOVE Dunedin

@hamish_keith: We burn the sofa at both ends

@HamishCR: Home of the ironically named Maori Hill

@Artandmylife: Dunedin - lots of famous NZ's used to live here

@Artandmylife: We used to be the biggest city in NZ, you know

@BexieLady: "Better than Gore" for 6 days in a row

@BenShipley: 100% in favour of global warming

@badtom Dunedin: it's not all bagpipes and binge drinking. Well, not entirely.

* ODT - Dunedin looks for new slogan
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