IT WOULD have been fun to sit in on the brainstorming session for the new Tourism Kamloops slogan. Fun to listen to the rationalization for “Boldly unscripted.”
It’s a nice phrase. Meaningless, but nice. When people sit down in a room, they can come up with explanations for just about anything.
One can almost hear the discussion. What is Kamloops? Well, it’s not wimpy. Bold event. And we’re sort of spontaneous, aren’t we? You know, as in unscripted.
But, of course, to someone who has never heard of Kamloops before, never been here, “Boldly unscripted” means absolutely nothing. Describes nothing at all to a stranger.
The old slogan, “Playtime redefined,” wasn’t brilliant, but it did say something about Kamloops being a place to get out there and have fun. And it could be spun off in different directions, relating to various activities.
Those who come up with this stuff shouldn’t get discouraged. It’s very, very difficult to come up with good slogans for communities. You can’t say much in two or three words. In fact, it’s impossible to capture the spirit, history, attractions, geography and economy of a city in just one slogan.
That’s why it’s probably a good idea to give up. Tourism brochures of old are littered with slogans like “Hub City” and “Lake a Day for as Long as You Stay” and “Heart of the West.” The only thing that has ever worked is “Canada’s Tournament Capital” or, as it was originally, “Tournament Capital of Canada.” It’s not flashy but it’s descriptive. You don’t have to ever have visited Kamloops or heard anything about it to know what that means.
It has its limitations, of course. No place is just one thing. Cities are many things, different things to different people.
Slogans that try to say it all end up being just a handful of subtext that may as well be random scrabble words.
“Boldly unscripted” will do for a few years until somebody decides it’s time for another refresh, and then we’ll get another slogan that tries in vain to define us.