If New Brunswick is truly “East of Ordinary,” as its tourist slogan declares, then where does that leave Maine?

Well, if you look at a map you’ll see the Canadian province is directly east of Maine. Does that mean Maine is the first stop on the road to ordinary?

“That’s pretty weird that they’d do that,” said Ellis Paul, a singer-songwriter who grew up 15 miles from the New Brunswick border, in Presque Isle. “They must have known what they were doing when they came up with that line.”

But New Brunswick tourism officials say the slogan, launched in late April, was not meant to make people think less of Maine.

It was meant to make people think less of the rest of Canada.

“The tag line points to New Brunswick’s east coast location and differentiates us from the rest of Canada,” Jane Matthews-Clark, spokeswoman for New Brunswick’s department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, wrote in an email. “The tag line is meant to invite guests to venture out of the ordinary and spend their vacation in New Brunswick.”

It’s hard to blame New Brunswick for wanting a slogan that touts the province as out of the ordinary, considering the tag line it used last summer: “Hi, My Name is New Brunswick.”

The “East of Ordinary” tag line will be used in online videos and in print ads through August, said Matthews-Clark.

Tourist slogans can range from funny to forgettable, but for the towns or states paying ad agencies to create them, they are vitally important. The goal is to capture people’s attention and imagination, to convince them to spend their vacation dollars in a certain location during a relatively short season. Tourist slogans then represent the competition for tourists’ hearts and wallets.

Maine may be competing with New Brunswick for tourists, but you can’t tell from its current tourism tag line: “Discover Your Maine Thing.” That line certainly cannot be interpreted as a slight against New Brunswick or any place else: In fact, it’s fairly hard to interpret at all.

But the slogan Maine is probably best known for, “Maine: The Way Life Should Be,” was seen by some as a little uppity. That slogan was launched in 1988 and, though no longer an official part of tourism marketing campaigns, has lived on in people’s minds and on highway signs.

“I know some people felt like that line could be seen as Mainers having their nose in the air, but I never saw it that way,” said Vaughn Stinson, CEO of the Maine Tourism Association, a 1,500-member organization. “Some people like it, some people hated it.”

But most people remember it.

In between “The Way Life Should Be” and “Discover Your Maine Thing,” Maine has used “It Must Be Maine” and “There’s More To Maine,” among other lines.

Which all begs the question, is it better to have a tag line that says you’re better than somebody, like “East of Ordinary,” or a tag line that doesn’t really say anything at all?

“Often a slogan or tag line is used to address things we learn in our research. Maybe there’s a perception we’d like to change,” said Carolann Ouellette, director of the Maine Office of Tourism.

Perhaps “East of Ordinary” is meant to change the perception that New Brunswick is at the epicenter of ordinary.

Matthews-Clark said that New Brunswick’s target market for its “East of Ordinary” campaign includes “parts of the U.S. and mid-Canada.” And, she added, New Brunswick is actually working with Maine to bring tourists to both places.

Maine and New Brunswick have created a tourism campaign they partner on, called “The Two-Nation Vacation.” In May, tourism officials announced they would invest a total of $1 million over four years to draw people’s attention to extraordinary natural features on both sides of the border. Maine and New Brunswick have a lot of similarities, after all.

A one-minute “East of Ordinary” video put on YouTube by New Brunswick’s tourism office looks like much of it could have been filmed in Maine. It shows the “world’s highest tides” at the Bay of a Fundy, a bay that touches Maine. It shows kayakers, bike riders, whales and lots of seashore. All are scenes you could see in Maine.

So if New Brunswick is so similar to Maine, maybe it would be better served by a slogan that links it directly to Maine. And such a slogan might still distinguish it from the state:

“New Brunswick: Almost Maine, But Harder to Get To.”