A little west of clear
The story broke recently that the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority will officially give up on the effort to brand the area “America’s Adventure Place.” That’s fine. That label was a bit of a turkey, anyway, and it didn’t really do a whole lot in terms of bringing in the millions from “adventure seekers.” Let’s face it—that’s a tough nut to crack, anyway. I mean, what would your basic kayaker/hiker/mountain biker rather spend a hundred bucks on: slots or Clif bars?
So sayonara to that campaign, and what’s next? Well, as you probably heard, the latest ad agency stab at a catchy slogan was “Reno: A Little West of Center.” Cute? Yes. As it turned out, a little too cute. Mayor Cashell wasted no time in loading up his verbal shotgun and pumping both barrels into the broadside of this blurb, and the RSCVA quickly followed his lead and bailed. Back to the proverbial drawing board we go, still in search of a jiffy new identity that can lure the average turista here faster than a speeding soundbyte.
Mayor Bob and others complained that the “little west of center” line left them puzzled. What was it getting at, exactly? I think I can answer. If you recognize that “a little west of center” is a play on “a little left of center,” you can then reckon that “left/west of center” is supposed to imply to the viewer/listener that Reno is a little bit loose. Because if you’re a little left of center, that means you’re a little more inclined to have a blast, wear a blue wig, and not be a staid, middle-of-the-road, no-fun type town. Doesn’t it?
In the end, though, I’m down with Mayor Bob. The slogan is just too damn cutesy for its own good, and, even worse, it’s subtle. And what Northern Nevada needs right now, touristically speaking, isn’t subtle. You’ve seen the gaming numbers over the last year? We need subtle about as much as a werewolf needs a Blackberry.
So maybe we should just get to the point. What do tourons crave in a vacation/getaway? I would dare to guess … a good time? I mean, Jesus, this isn’t rocket surgery here. Let’s just come right out and say it. It may not be especially clever, and it may not result in an award-winning campaign for the ad agency, but so what? We need people to come over here and play some friggin’ video goddamn poker! So allow me to suggest … “Reno/Tahoe—We Know How To Have A Good Time.” Or … “R/T—Good Time Capital of The West.” Maybe incorporate a bit of history with “R/T—We’ve Been Having a Damn Good Time For The Last 100 Years!” Or “R/T—Party Spoken Here.” You catch my drift.
And while I’m at it—Sparks as “Nevada’s Festival City?” Yawn. How about, “Sparks. Shop. Bop. Hop. Drop.”?