Wednesday, March 15, 2006


I heard on the radio on my way home yesterday that Washington State has a shiny new tourism slogan. Care to guess what it is? Let's play multiple choice:
    Say WA, Tanuki. Say WA.
  • Washington: You can have it all.
  • You too can be a Washington voter!
  • Explore Washington
  • Better bring your WAllet.
  • SayWA.
If you guessed "a", then you're sensible, but quite wrong. However, if you guessed "e", you're right!

Really there's not much to say about this one. The new slogan pretty much makes fun of itself. I "SayWA"aaht the heck was the state tourism bureau thinking?
The slogan, 18 months in development, is designed to promote Washington's numerous tourist attractions, from hiking in the Olympic Mountains to visiting wine country to wind-surfing in the Columbia River Gorge. A replacement for "Experience Washington," it was chosen with a lot of market research and the input of a 32-member "brand development task force," which included Chamber of Commerce directors, tourism officials and business representatives from around the state. Beginning this spring, a $442,000 campaign will put "SayWA" advertisments (sic) into travel magazines and television programs.

"SayWA is a distillation of the sense of wonder that comes with discovery," the tourism office's Web site suggests. "It describes the moment when an experience becomes emotional. Where the traveler is no longer an observer, but a participant. The SayWA moment."

One mock[-up] advertisement shows tourists taking pictures of the Columbia Gorge. "SayWA: This is the sound of jaws dropping."
Say WA, Kaeru. Say WA.It would seem that one thing the 32-member "task force" failed to consider during the year-and-a-half that they were dreaming up their new slogan was website availability. While the current address based on the old slogan is, it would appear that is already taken—by what I'm assuming is some kind of Japanese store (which is where the images in this post come from). Actually there is a strong case to be made that the "task force" wasn't thinking at all when they came up with this gem. Seriously... 32 people?!? 18 months?!? And now they're going to spend nearly half a million dollars to promote "SayWA."

Then again... maybe they're onto something. We could be ahead of the curve on this one. Maybe it will catch on with other states, and we can say that we were the first. Think about how it sounds with other states' postal abbreviations in there...
  • SayOR.
  • SayAZ.
  • SayAK!
  • SayMA.
  • SayMI.
  • SayID.
  • SayHI!
  • SayOK.
SayWA. Um... yeah, okay.

Update: Props to Matt at Sound Politics for locating the official SayWA site, a feat that I was unable to accomplish. Also worth mentioning is Stefan's brilliant slogan suggestion: "The state so nice, you'll vote for it twice!"

Source: KOMO News via KVI
image sourceCategories: News, Local


Blogger Pickaxe Pete said...

For some reason my suggestion for our state slogan was rejected; "You should go WASH"

11:30 PM, March 19, 2006  
Blogger Slyne4u said...

You know, SayWA is actually clever, hip and catchy. And even if you don't like it, it's generated a ton of publicity, which a safe generic slogan like Experience Washington or Discover Washington would never do...Besides, let it roll out and see what happens.

4:57 PM, March 25, 2006  

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