December 28, 2007
"Why Houston?"

I think the better question is why this?

After trotting out and discarding a series of slogans over the years, Houston's official marketing agency is taking a new approach as it prepares to launch a $3 million campaign to enhance the city's national image.

Instead of a snappy catchphrase, advertisements soon to appear in national publications will feature earnest testimonials from well-known current or former Houstonians such as singer Beyonce Knowles, soccer star Brian Ching, heart surgeon Denton Cooley and former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara.

Starting in February, the campaign will feature ads in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Continental Airlines' inflight magazine, Texas Monthly magazine and other publications, said Lindsey Brown, marketing director for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Broadcast ads also are in the works, she said.

The celebrities featured in the "My Houston" ad campaign, however, aren't being asked to recite slogans. The bureau has stopped using its most recent slogan, "Space City: A Space of Infinite Possibilities," Brown said.

"We feel that Houston is the word that's important right now -- Houston is the word that needs to be at the top of the mind rather than a slogan," Brown said.

Whatever. I don't see why anyone thinks this will do better than any of Elyse Lanier's infamous efforts, or why anyone thinks it will be more effective than "Houston: It's Worth It". But I suppose the GHCVB has to do something to justify itself. As for me, you can put me down as being with Cory on this one.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 28, 2007 to Elsewhere in Houston

It's a shame that "former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara" aren't also former Houstonians. And along with their son, former Texans. They are not exactly what I would call a draw at this point.

Posted by: Baby Snooks on December 28, 2007 10:44 PM

Having read his statement, the only conclusion I can draw is that he appears not to have wasted money getting help from a PR firm in writing it.

"A wake-up call to me to get my house in order both literally and figuratively". What in the world was he trying to say? Perhaps we should look for the hidden meaning here, as in "relieve me of this job as soon as possible"?

Posted by: Dennis on December 29, 2007 5:37 AM

I'm pretty sure this idea comes from a discussion in the comments of Richard Florida's blog, but one of the clearest signs that a City is not doing the things necessary to allow a vibrant, open place for the creative class and attracting talent, is when the city has to do a 3 million dollar advertising campaign across the country.

How about rebuilding some sidewalks, investing in arts (and other creative pursuits such as video game programming) education in high schools, and funding sexual, gender, and race tolerance training for all civil servants?

Posted by: Jay on December 30, 2007 8:09 PM