Nebraska’s Brutally Honest New Tourism Slogan Is Perfect
My dad grew up in a 300-person town in Nebraska called Bruning. He graduated in a high school class of ten. When my parents were first dating in college, my mom came down to visit and made an illegal U-turn on the town’s main road, and by the time she got back to my dad’s childhood home, a concerned neighbor had already alerted my grandma about it.
Unlike my dad, my grandparents (who own a local fertilizing company), my uncle, and my cousin still live there. As a kid, I remember it was the kind of place where the vending machines were locked up on Sundays, and seeing my grandparents usually involved getting to drive a tractor and being pushed in a wheelbarrow through the cornfield in their backyard. The last time I was there, we had something called hamburger pizza from the local gas station that was topped with pickles.
My experiences in one small town might not be indicative of the state as a whole, but they do underline why Nebraska’s new tourism slogan is pretty perfect. On Wednesday, the state rolled out a new campaign that leans pretty hard into its reputation as just flyover country, saying simply: “Honestly, it’s not for everyone.”
The new campaign, which will hit “key out-of-state markets” in spring 2019, uses a little self-deprecating humor in an attempt to get more visitors to a state that’s consistently ranked 50th on lists of states people want to visit, according to a press release . Some of the ads feature tag lines that echo common phrases associated with the state: “there’s nothing to do here” and “famous for our flat, boring landscape” over images of people “tanking” or floating down a river in livestock tanks, and hikers traversing Toadstool Geologic Park. According to the Omaha World-Herald , it’s all the work of advertising agency Vladimir Jones, which to some locals’ dismay, is based in Colorado.
Still, the folks over at Nebraska’s Tourism Commission believe the ads appeal to people’s sense of adventure, and ultimately represent the state’s good-natured Midwest values.
“The new brand platform is defined by honesty,” State Tourism Director John Ricks said in the press release. “The overarching concept of honesty is rooted in a mindset that values transparency, purity, and simplicity. A way of embracing the not-so-obvious bits of life. We feel weve accomplished just that.”
Still, Twitter users submitted their own take on the ads, offering up some other distinguishing qualities that might be good enough to bring tourism to the state:
Sure, Nebraska is more than the sum of its small-town charm. It has an excellent zoo, a thriving arts and music scene , andseeing as the Huskers’ Memorial Stadium just had its 364th consecutive sell-out die-hard sports fans, win or lose.
But perhaps the best part about Nebraska is the sense that locals can’t imagine why out-of-towners would want to live anywhere else. And maybe that’s a feeling worth traveling for.
The author, sporting a Cornhusker hat. Follow Lauren Messman on Twitter.
Nebraska’s new tourism campaign takes ‘honest’ approach: ‘There’s nothing to do here’
TRAVEL Published 18 hours ago Nebraska’s new tourism campaign takes ‘honest’ approach: ‘There’s nothing to do here’ By Janine Puhak | Fox News
The old slogan and campaign touting “Nebraska Nice” reportedly proved to be a flop. (Nebraska Tourism Commission)
Nebraska’s new tourism campaign is being met with mixed reactions on social media, as the Cornhusker State’s fiercely self-deprecating campaign sarcastically highlights the very virtues it is often mocked for.
Released by the Nebraska Tourism Commission on Oct. 17, the searing slogans aim to catch consumers’ attention in a “disruptive” way and shatter perceived notions while keeping in mind the unique “marketing challenges” that the state faces, the official press release states.
“Lucky for you, there’s nothing to do here,” reads one ad featuring a group of people floating down a river.
“To make people listen, you have to hook them somehow.” (Nebraska Tourism Commission)
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“Famous for our flat, boring landscape,” reads an ad with a photo of people hiking – and jumping – across tall rocks.
“Another day on the dusty plains” captions a billboard of boy hopping through a waterfall. Each ad is also accompanied by the outline of the state and a slogan reading, “Honestly, it's not for everyone.”
”This campaign speaks to their sense of adventure and discovering what we as Nebraskans are all about.” (Nebraska Tourism Commission)
The campaign itself was produced by Colorado advertising agency Vladimir Jones, which ran test groups with out-of-state visitors likely to visit Nebraska, Omaha World-Herald reports.
According to the outlet, the old slogan and campaign touting “Nebraska Nice” proved to be a flop with many.
“It was important to the Nebraska Tourism staff, marketing committee and Commissioners to be true to who we are and honest about what we are not. Along each step of the way we were heavily involved in discovering ourselves and what those outside of our borders thought and felt,” Deb Loseke, Nebraska Tourism Commission chair, said in the statement. “So we discovered that we can't offer something to everyone — but to those that we can, this campaign speaks to their sense of adventure and discovering what we as Nebraskans are all about.”
“To make people listen, you have to hook them somehow,” state tourism director John Ricks similarly told the World-Herald. “We had to shake people up.”
Meanwhile, in the hours since the campaign went public, Twitter users both in Nebraska and beyond have had a whole lot to say.
“Honestly, it's not for me. By leading with the negative stereotypes it's only drawing more attention to them. There's a lot to be proud of in Nebraska. Self-deprication feels lazy here,” one critic clapped.
“Wasted money,” another agreed.
Others yearned for the return of slogans of days past, while others described the new stunt as “awesome.”
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“Love it! It is humor, it bold, it is attention getting and it is honest! We are an amazing state inside [and] out! We also are aware we are not hustle and bustle… glitz and glamour. We are simple, We are who we are… and that is pretty good!! #NebraskaProud” one fan said.
Whether or not the controversial new ads spur tourism remains to be determined.
Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak
‘Roseanne’ Spinoff Star John Goodman: ‘There’s A Hollow Center’ Without Roseanne Barr
‘Roseanne’ Spinoff Star John Goodman: ‘There’s A Hollow Center’ Without Roseanne Barr 7:52 PM 10/16/2018 | Entertainment Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter “Roseanne” spinoff star John Goodman said that “there’s a hollow center” on the show without Roseanne Barr after she was fired over a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett.
“It felt great to be back, but there’s a hollow center. I miss Rosie [Barr] real bad,” the 66-year-old actor shared with USA Today Tuesday ahead of the kickoff for “The Conners” after ABC canceled the popular series “Roseanne” and fired the 65-year-old comedian. (RELATED: Roseanne Barr ‘Disgusted’ By Stars Throwing Support To James Gunn After ‘Blacklisting’ Her)
Actors Michael Fishman, Sarah Chalke, Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, SiriusXM host Sandra Bernhard and Lecy Goranson pose for photos during SiriusXM’s Town Hall with the cast of Roseanne on March 27, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
“The Conners” will air Tuesday night without Barr — whose character is reportedly being killed off — after she tweeted something racist about the former Barack Obama aide.
Goodman revealed in an interview in August that his character Dan Conner , would be “mopey and sad because his wife’s dead” when talking about the upcoming spinoff.
In an interview soon after, Barr confirmed that her character was killed off on the show “of an opioid overdose.”
“Oh ya, they killed her. They have her die of an opioid overdose,” the actress shared on “ Walk Away, ” according to Fox News.
As previously reported, a synopsis of the new series read, “After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before. This iconic family — Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. — grapples with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America. Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns — with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.”