By Hutchinson News, April 9
Kansas doesn’t get great mileage out of its tourism slogans. Maybe we’re just too great to articulate in mere words.
We always remember that Texas is “like a whole other country.”
As for Kansas, are we the “Land of Ahs”?
“As big as you think”?
Or maybe something else to do with “The Wizard of Oz”?
The latest state tourism slogan is in part a reference to the movie many Kansas would just as soon distance themselves from. Unveiled this week, the new message is “There’s no place like Kansas.”
Other than the Oz connotation, it’s not a bad theme. Kansas can do some things with the notion that we have some uniqueness to our state that makes it a special place to visit, if not live.
No mountains or ocean but some stunning landscapes nonetheless. Quirky sights such as the “Garden of Eden” in Lucas. Good food and warm hospitality. Leisure places.
The video and television spots create a sense of relaxation and wonder about our fair state. And the theme song, “Sunflowers,” an original recording by Clearwater native Logan Mize, is catchy. Hutchinson is among seven communities with its own TV spot. Dodge City is another.
Marketing campaigns aren’t done well by committee, but no doubt Kansans will have their opinions on “no place like Kansas.” For many, it is likely to make them think of Oz, and “no place like home” doesn’t work too well as a tourism slogan since you’re trying to get people to leave home to come visit Kansas.
We wouldn’t be surprised if some people extended “There’s no place like Kansas” to describe some of the wackos and their shenanigans in the Statehouse these days.
Maybe “no place like Kansas” works better as a resident retention campaign, which, given the population trends, maybe should be the focus anyway. It also can play well for in-state tourism, encouraging the “staycation.”
But whether for tourism or retention, the effort can’t stop with the creative. The state needs to budget money to spend on marketing. In the past, Kansas has ranked near the bottom of states in spending on marketing and promotion.
One of these days we might land on a slogan that sticks. In the meantime, what we do with the message probably is more important than finding the universally winning message.