brand a city … and get burdened? the saga of las vegas

a few hours ago, forbes reported that las vegas is america’s ’emptiest’ city.  what a sad state of affairs for a few blocks of glitz and glamour that calls itself las vegas.  a success story of branding an entire city.  “thank you” everyone said, the rebranding helped attract tourists and business visitors in the early part of the 21st century {seems so long ago now!}

fast forward to 2009.  a now bailed-out bank’s decision to proceed with their pre-bailout plans to host an event in sin city attracted much ire, and counter ire.  a far cry from the days what happens in vegas, stays herewas celebrated , which spawned off the more popular tag line ‘what happens in vegas, stays in vegas‘ …

looks like the brand has come back to bite the city.  maybe a lesser tag line might not have created such an aversion to bailed out banks sending their employees off to the middle of the desert.

maybe, just maybe, its safer to enjoy a timeless brand like san franscisco, paris or new york.  cities without provocative tag lines that seem oh so well out of place today.  i guess, that is what happens when you gamble with a tag line.  sometimes, the house too loses.  too bad in this case it is all of them!

what do you think?  what can charlotte (an up and coming city) and others learn from this?

sai@obviousideas.com

(just watching a re-rerun of frasier (episode: ‘frasier-lite’ 2004) where frasier is enticed to over-eat just prior to an obesity-awareness weight loss competition so that he and his team can win a trip to vegas.  why, the tag line is even misquoted as ‘what happens in vegas, stays in vegas’ … because the original line coined by r&r partners is ‘what happens here, stays here’)

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