June 06, 2006

"Larger Than Life"

Recently, the Yukon Territory "rebranded" itself. With a cost of $200,000 to develop the brand (and another $200,000 to come for implementation), a consulting firm was hired to engage in consultations with Yukoners and tourists to develop a comprehensive brand that could be used to promote the Yukon everywhere and everyway.

They came up with "Larger than Life".

When I heard the new brand, I wondered if "Larger than Life" was really worth $200,000. After all, don't they say that "everything is bigger in Texas"? Aside from the fact that "Larger than Life" is a Backstreet Boys song and the same tagline is likely used to sell "male genetalia enhancers", you could say that a lot of things are larger than life.

But after the initial scepticism, I grew to like the new brand. The Yukon is larger than life: larger than life history and larger than life stories and legends, larger than life wildlife and scenery, larger than life characters and hospitality (although NWT and Nunavut are pretty darned larger than life, too) - the new slogan is really quite appropriate.

But why spend $200,000 for some consulting firm? I would have come up with a good slogan for nothing more than a hot meal for two.

Yes, using our good friend, the Internet, Steve and I visited Within five minutes, we came up with the following gems:

Yukon Gives that Warm Feeling - It would appear that many southerners think that the Yukon (and the rest of the north) is a cold, barren wasteland. Not only does this slogan apply to our warm and wonderful summers, it also applies to the generous hospitality of all Northerners.

"I found the Yukon!" - This slogan would work for anyone who is looking for adventure, discovery and the chance to get to know a place just a little bit better. It seems like a lot of folks in "mainland" Canada and the US don't even know where the Yukon is. "Isn't that in Alaska?" is a question that's asked all too often. This slogan would help build awareness for the territory. Whether it's people driving across the border or a little kid pointing to a map at home or school, they could all declare, "I found the Yukon!"

1 Yukon is Better than 2 of Something Else - Ok, so this one is pure cheese, but a lot of people place value in comparison.

Get Your Yukon Here - Sure, where else would you get your "Yukon", but this handy little slogan is a call to action. Doesn't it just compel you to check it out? To find out what "Your Yukon" is?

Yukon. The Clear Choice - Crystal clear water, fresh air, and vast scenic vistas. Ahhhhh... a heck of a lot better than that smoggy city.

I See Yukon in Your Future - While this one may seem like it's targeted to people who call the Psychic Friends Network, it'll at least get people thinking about visiting or even staying. "You see Yukon in my future? What would that be like. Hmmm...."

My favourite, though would have to be...

"Yukon...the Meaning of Life." - The Yukon has healthy wildlife and an active population. The cultural and sporting communities are incredibly active and vibrant. And what could be better than sitting on the shore of a lake, just you and your loved ones, watching the reflection of the mountains in the water. That, is the meaning of life.

(All slogans are the property of Steve and me. If you want to use them, you need to buy Steve and me a hot meal. And give us $200,000. Terms are open to negotiation.)


Anonymous said...

Sure, anybody can make up a slogan. I'll bet that they probably had a list very similar to yours when they started.

The difference is, they spent $200,000 testing this campaign on the people who actually matter -- the customer -- and the larger than life brand won out.

Not only that, $200,000 is NOTHING compared to the millions of dollars that both government and industry will invest in this campaign over the next 5-10 years.

Now I may be naive, but I think that it is probably a good idea that those millions of dollars are spent on a brand that has been tested and shows positive response from the customer. Would you invest in a $500,000 ad buy with a slogan that you generated in ten seconds from a website?

Sorry if I rant a bit here, nothing personal intended. Also, I have nothing to do with tourism or larger than life, just another Yukoner with a different view than most people about this.

Anonymous said...

I can't say much here given my professional situation, but I was privy to some of the conceptual thinking behind this new campaign. As Anthony correctly stated, it was tested and judged as the best fit for the audience it was intended for.

Do I like it? Not really. But lots of people - people who already and will continue to spend money in the Yukon as a tourism destination - dig it to a large extent.

I'm personally attached to the classic the magic and the mystery. It's what brought me up here in the late 90s, after being bombarded for years while at university.

Meandering Michael said...

Thanks for ranting, guys. I'm glad this site can be used as a forum to express thoughts on "northern issues".

As I mentioned in the entry, I like the new slogan and, as a business guy, firmly believe in testing things with your target audience.

And I'm glad they did it.

As for my suggestions, really I was just looking for a good meal for me and my friend - for the next time they decide to change the brand...

Peter Tyrrell said...

So I guess first on the reject list was:

"If you don't like it, Yukon always go somewhere else."

I'm going to be staked down to be devoured by carnivorous caribou for this, aren't I?