June 20, 2013

From the Editor: New slogan less a motto than a 'not-o'

By ROD HARMON Deputy Managing Editor

There's been a lot of reaction to the city of Portland's new marketing slogan, "Portland, Maine. Yes. Life's good here," which was announced to much fanfare on Tuesday. Some positive, some negative.

I have to say, count me in the latter category. Although I appreciate the backstory behind the slogan -- it's taken from the title of an essay by a gay activist and novelist who lived in Portland -- if you have to know the backstory to get the message, then the message has already failed from a marketing perspective. And most people won't know the backstory when they see the slogan in brochures, on TV ads and slapped onto the side of a bus.

So, I'd like to join the multitude of folks on various social media sites who have come up with alternative slogans for the city that would be just as effective as the official one. Here are my suggestions:

"Portland, Maine. Yes. People live here."

"Portland, Maine. The land of indecision."

"Portland, Maine. You know, the other one. No, not Portland, Oregon. Read the slogan again, you idiot."

"Portland, Maine. The other good slogans were already taken."

"Portland -- where 'Vacationland' becomes 'Vacate the Land' during winter."

"Portland, Maine. Most of us didn't vote for Paul LePage, so it's not our fault."

"Portland Maine. We have lobster and lighthouses. 'Nuff said."

"Portland, Maine. No, 'Portlandia' is not set here."

"Portland, Maine. Birthplace of Prohibition. Now the site of a major beer festival."

"Portland, Maine. Making bad decisions about public art since 2006."

"Portland, Maine. Yes. Life is good here -- unless you're homeless. Or unemployed. Or trying to find a parking space. Or waiting for your street to be snowplowed. Or oh, never mind."

"Portland, Maine. Yes. Taxes are high here."

"Portland Maine. Longfellow slept here."

"Portland, Maine. We used to be Falmouth. We used to be Massachusetts, too. Yes, it's confusing."

"Portland, Maine. Where people walk aimlessly into oncoming traffic."

"Portland, Maine. Please don't smoke here -- we really don't want the city to burn down again."

"Portland, Maine. You'd think with a city full of creative people, we could have come up with a better slogan."

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:


Twitter: RHarmonPPH


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