Thursday, June 2, 2016
My home state is Nebraska.
So just out of curiosity the other day, I Googled to see if Nebraska
had any kind of tourism campaign. And wasn't I surprised to find it does!
Done by the local agency out of Omaha, (my home town) BaileyLauerman, who have produced award winning work most notably for local clients like Union Pacific Railroad. However, I was shocked to see what they have developed as a position for Nebraska. And to tell you the truth, I honestly don't know how this ever ever got out Baily Lauerman's doors yet alone produced.
The 'THEME' for this campaign is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me:
VISIT NEBRASKA. VISIT NICE.
Now when I saw this, it made me cringe. The last thing you ever want to be remembered for or about
is being.....NICE. Nice is truly an unforgettable person, place or thing in general. When you refer to something as being 'nice' it is usually in a more derogatory sense, than kindly. It isn't positive. And it implies that the particular person place or thing has nothing particularly outstanding to recommend it so it is a 'safe' PC bet to refer to said person, place or thing as being 'nice'. It's what you politely say when you can't think of anything else to say. To me nice equates to a swear word. And 'nice' in the creative department as a critique is the death word, the word you dread ever ever hearing from anyone about any of your creative ideas, especially from the Creative Directors. So imagine my surprise when I see my home state adopting such a position. It's pathetic really. And brings flashbacks of my many sessions with my shrink rushing back to me as a reminder of why I scrambled so hard to leave Nebraska.
NICE = NOTHING NICE=NO PULSE NICE=BORING NICE=DON'T STOP
The ONE THING you never ever want advertising or your brand or your takeaway to be is
I have worked on a lot of tourism accounts. I know how fraught with politics it is. I know how big
and bureaucratic the decision making is. And I know how frustrating it can be for any real creative
to get produced. But this is just awful. If they tested this idea, they showed it to the wrong group.
If you want to get any one to visit your state, from out of state, you don't ever test it with the folks from your state. And I have a feeling any "testing" that was done for this, was the local kind.
Nebraska is a treasure trove of history and historical places. Nebraska has the sandhills which is
an amazing natural phenomenon. Nebraska has a big story it can show and tell. Nebraska really is a very interesting place or could be if given half a chance.
But this campaign isn't going to help...it's just boring. The site is boring. The photos are so 'stock'
they are boring. The writing is mundane and boring. Everything about it is so boring it isn't even nice.... it's just boring.
And sadly the site and theme re-enforce the very barrier it needs to overcome with the out of state
vacationer which is; if Nebraska is ONLY 'nice' then let's just drive through this state as fast as we can to get to somewhere else more interesting and hope we don't fall asleep trying.
If you look at a post I have here about the Swedish Number....compare that to the Nebraska attempt at tourism and you can see how very very different in strength of idea, in execution, in friendliness, in being original, in being engaging and making you feel good and curious about Sweden is compared to the ho-hum me-too sameness and ordinariness of the Nebraska campaign.
All I can advise the Nebraska Tourism Board is this: Change this. Call me and we will change this.
This nice idea gets a 1 out of 10 and I am being nice.