September 5, 2011

Country slogans to amuse and puzzle

Speaking of absurd, a recent article in the Smithsonian Magazine got me thinking about country slogans designed to entice tourism. How does one distill the essence of an entire country into a single line?

Several of the gems came from the former Eastern block feeling their way in the global tourism marketplace. Croatia – “The Mediterranean as it once was.” I get their “Adriatic is the new Mediterranean” message but saps who did not bother to look at the map might be disappointed…

map of Croatia

Latvia is “Best enjoyed slowly.” What? Otherwise you will run out of sights and landmarks?

Some slogans are downright trampy. Montenegro “Wild Beauty” is almost demure compared to “I Feel sLOVEnia” and Lithuania's “See It! Feel it! Love it!”

Not to be outdone, U.S. states have been branding themselves for some time. Everyone knows that “Virginia is for Lovers” (a man and a woman only, of course). Kentucky has “Unbridled Spirit,” which perhaps is one of the more successful distillations.

I will end this post with my favorite (translation, most ridiculous) slogan. Washington state’s “Say WA” reminds me of a Budweiser commercial – it is really like a tale of a King who found himself naked except here the branding ‘experts’ hoodwinked state’s tourism agency.

Did I miss any slogans that deserve a mention?

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