Seattle Times Says “SayWA?!?!”

We wrote last week about “SayWA,” the new Washington state travel slogan that was the product of an ecstasy-fueled 18 month brainstorming session by 32 marketing geniuses. What sort of powerful emotions does the SayWA message evoke? Nothing besides puzzlement and the nagging suspicion that someone just came up with a me which actually infects the listener with a highly contagious form of mental retardation.

Naturally, Washington residents hate it too, and now James Visely of the Seattle Times has written an essay in which he punches his fist right through SayWA’s chest cavity and, in one deft tear, ripped out its still-screaming skeleton by the roots.

People know better than any sloganeer where they live, and why. The Rose City, the Emerald City, the Windy City, the Motor City, the Glass City, the Forest City, the River City, the Iron City all come from embellishments of the past — not too many people would recognize Cleveland, Ohio, as the Forest City or Toledo, Ohio, as the Glass City.

Now comes one of the most beautiful states of the Union, a place of such geographic pulchritude it makes Ohio look like, well, Ohio. With names that evoke both lingering Indian myths and the dash of the British Royal Navy during the age of exploration, coastal and interior Washington are two cymbals that give punctuation to the natural orchestral landscape that is the American West.

SayWA?

SayNo.

We still prefer “SayWAtheFuck” as SayWA’s anti-slogan, but close enough.

SayWA, the sound of one hand clapping [Seattle Times]

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  1. Anabelle says:

    While I agree that SayWA? is a lameass attempt at urban coolness, the slogan does seem to have attracted a lot of media attention.

    Could the old saw, “There is no such thing as bad publicity,” apply here?

  2. No, because while everyone loves ridiculing it, it makes absolutely no one want to visit the state. You’re not advertising the slogan… you’re supposed to make people want to visit the state.

  3. Paul D says:

    Alas, too much of marketing IS emphasis upon the slogan over the product.

  4. Andrew W says:

    When I lived in Winston-Salem, NC, the city created the “O! Winston-Salem!” campaign for revitalizing downtown. When the Winston-Salem Journal covered the story on the next day’s front page, they inadvertantly placed “O! Winston-Salem!” next to headline about how a new diagnostic tool for cervical cancer was causing orgasms in women. O, Winston-Salem, indeed.

  5. geedeck says:

    I like that he chooses to knock on Ohio. I’m not calling him inept or stupid, but if he’d actually spent some time in said state then he would know better than to make that statement.

  6. Juancho says:

    Yeah, as many problems as we have in Ohio, it is a really beautiful state as well.

    This guy is going to get a lot of email over this.

  7. OkiMike says:

    Washington: The Made Fun Of State