Small Slogan , Big Challenge

Small Slogan , Big Challenge

Soon Quebec City promises to unveil its new slogan to promote the city on the international stage.

It wants to bring out this image in mind of the capital of Quebec and its francophone character in America; all this in two or three words. The slogan will be short, but the challenge, enormous.

The brand can have the effect of rallying economic stakeholders and tourism around a strong idea.,” he said.

The main challenge is in fact that of the authenticity of the message. The slogan cannot claim something artificial.

In April, Regis Labeaume said he wanted a slogan that marks the French presence in America. This reality does exist in the strong capital of its 406 years.

But how to translate it? Le Journal de Quebec revealed some time ago that it would be a slogan “two or three words” read in both English and French and would be unveiled shortly. Then, much later, the mayor announced last month that it will eventually “very soon”.

What to expect? Too much English would be risky for our francophone city, believes. The people from here need to recognize themselves.

On the other hand, look at the cities of Lyon, Berlin and Amsterdam – they opted for English in their international image.

Do we keep the French and impose it as an element of differentiation?
French is an added value that can contribute even more to the personality of Quebec. ”

For two years, the Tourism Quebec has adopted the slogan “Quebec City: So Europe. So close” to “sell” Quebec. But it is not is a brand as such, but rather an advertising slogan for a specific campaign targeting the American and English-Canadian market.

The idea is to highlight the key European capital, but without crossing the Atlantic.
This is an advertising slogan though, not a brand.

City or province?
Another point that can be a challenge in the design of the brand abroad, is the distinction between Quebec City and Quebec province.

As such, not to mention the legendary ‘I Love New York’ logo-slogan that made has made headlines since its inception in 1977. Also in this case, New York is both the city and state. New York City is so well known, the problem does not arise.

The will of the City of Quebec to develop a brand image is not new. Quebec was central to the mandate of the Franco-American marketing guru Clotaire Rapaille hired in 2009, but his contract ended abruptly in March 2010 after an investigation by the Sun revealing that his resumé was riddled with falsehoods.

The unveiling of a brand is at a time when Quebec City reviews its visual identity. The mandate of the firm Coté Rivière is to refresh the image of the City and consistency in communications to reflect, among other things, variations in social media. But no question of touching the logo. The small boat of Louis Brunelle remains intact.

“I love NY”
The classic of classics. Designed in 1977 by Milton Glaser, the famous slogan-logo where the word love is replaced by a red heart was used, copied and worn on t-shirts or coffee mugs. More than 35 years after its creation, it has not aged a bit. And if its theme is the attachment to the vibrant American metropolis, its visual accounted for much.

In April 2007, Lyon, France, has launched a brand and a signature, “ONLYLYON” to promote Lyon internationally. The brand has been at the center of various advertising campaigns touting the great Lyon on economic, tourism and culture. Become true trademark, “ONLYLYON” now has its Facebook and Twitter pages.

But Lyon is far from the only predominantly non-English-speaking city to adopt English as its international image. In the Netherlands, Amsterdam hit a home run with “I AMsterdam” (I Amsterdam) in 2004 originally just an advertising campaign, the term has been very successful as to be adopted as a brand of the city. The slogan also comes in gigantic red and white letters that walk all over town. Since Sept. 29, they are installed in the Olympic Stadium at the Amsterdam Marathon.

The identity, belonging and affection for a city seem to be popular in the country of the great cities of the world. The German capital is no exception and used the verb to be (again in English) to give his name to the effective “Be Berlin” in 2008.
They justified the choice to base the image of the city not “on spectacular events” but rather to rely “on the 3.5 million men and women who play every day an active role in the transformation of the city.”

So what will Quebec City come up with?

We’re looking forward to seeing what the final designs will look like.

Watch this space.

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