Tourism officials searching for new Nevada catchphrase

Tourists pose in front of the iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign Tuesday, March 6, 2012.

Representatives of the Nevada Commission on Tourism have started whittling a list of potential tag lines to attract visitors to the state.

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, who chairs the commission, said the phrases reviewed at Wednesday’s marketing subcommittee meeting could evolve and that the process will continue through a testing phase before any decision is reached.

John Rubino of Seattle-based GreenRubino, the commission’s contracted brand development consultant, said some of the top tag lines would be reviewed by focus groups, tested and brought back to the commission within about three weeks for consideration.

Among the top ideas reviewed by the committee:

• "ReiNVent." Committee members discussed the emphasis of “NV” in the center of the word and noted that several other words with the imbedded NV letters could be used in marketing economic development as well as tourism, with words like “ReiNVest” and “ReiNVigorate.”

• "All in Nevada." The phrase plays off poker terminology. To go “all in” means wagering all remaining chips in a game. But it also connotes being fully engaged in the state and, in a different context, an image that there are a variety of things to see and do in Nevada. Committee members also considered a related phrase, Nevada All In.

• "Nevada is for Doers." Early in the process, research by Rubino’s team indicated that part of the state’s appeal is that there are so many things to see and do, and the phrase was born. Some committee members, however, were concerned that it sounded too much like Virginia’s highly successful “Virginia is for Lovers” tag line.

Rubino presented committee members with a list of 71 potential tag lines and included a short list of nine, including what his team considered the best. Several of those lines didn’t incorporate a specific connection to Nevada.

Rubino’s team started the project late last summer, finding initially that developing a brand for Nevada was a bigger challenge than anticipated because the state has so many diverse attractions.

When Rubino’s team tests the lines, they’ll be done without graphic imagery to focus primarily on the tags themselves.

The long list of tag lines included some with connections to the gaming industry and others with connection to mining.

Among the lines rejected: "Lots to NV," "NEVADAmazing," "Get In On the Action," "Dig Into It," "Discovery is in Our Veins," "State of Mine" and "The Gold Standard."

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  1. Rather then hiring a company from out of state how about asking the people that experience this town each and every day?

    If nothing else hire a group to walk the strip and talk to the folks that pay the bills, The Tourists that visit us!

    Very poor planning on someones part with this job. Using our money to pay an out of state company instead of dealing with those that really know our great city.

  2. Could these be any worse? Ugh. Never mind, don't answer that.

  3. How about:

    - Nevada / We're Not Seattle!
    - Nevada / We don't need no stinkin' Space Needle

    As a branding consultant who creates names and taglines for a living, and who's done so for 25 years, I say confidently that not only are the taglines pathetic, and contrary to every principle of good branding (e.g., the phonology is terrible -- when you actually speak these taglines, they don't flow trippingly off the tongue; they harken back to the "old" Nevada of gambling; they're not memorable; etc.).

    If I asked you to write an article, would you give me 71 different articles? How ludicrous. That would be passing the buck, failing to apply your wisdom and understanding of branding and to devise just a few brilliant tags.

    These 71 taglines remind me of the amateurs who want to name their company, only to produce a computer-generated list of over 100. And if the committee asked for 71 names, then it's the agency's job to tell the committee the approach is wrong-headed.

    What's the right way to do this job? Start by asking the question: What do you want the tagline to EVOKE about Nevada in the minds of the audience that sees or hears it? Until you have clearly defined the result you want from the tagline, you cannot possibly try to create the tagline. It is a**-backwards. Then consider taglines that evoke the attributes you've defined and agreed upon. Weigh those taglines against the standards of phonology, spelling, salience, distinctiveness, memorability, humor (perhaps).

    ReiNVent uses the pathetic pun of the state's abbreviation whilst employing Gen Y upper/lower case so as to confuse most people. ReiNVent what? What's the result? What's the purpose? What does this have to do with Nevada? If anyone had proposed this tagline to me, I'd have fired him on the spot. It's that bad.

    All In Nevada: I happen to love poker and I don't consider it gambling, but this tagline evokes in most people one thing: gambling your money or perhaps your entire life. Better than ReiNVent in the same way that Mussolini was "better" than Hitler.

    Nevada Is For Doers: God-awful. Doers of what? The phonology where the "r" in "for" runs into the "doo" in "doers" is terrible. Is this supposed to be some outre-take on Virginia is for lovers? If so, it fails. The "r" running into the "l" in "lovers" is much easier to say -- something that the branding agency clearly doesn't understand and something that the committee didn't even consider, which is what happens branding poseurs present to people who lack the requisite understanding of branding, linguistics, phonology and semantics.

    As for the rejected taglines: are you kidding me. NEVADAmazing -- really? A 3-year-old could do better than that. "The Gold Standard" -- for The Silver State?!!!

    This utter claptrap is what we pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for? The blind leading the blind.

  4. Yes DarthFrodo may have it - I go on a trip about once a month to various places and each time I start making plans, I think about going to Vegas first; I come down about four times a year. Can't wait to get back!

  5. Darthfrodo's idea -- Nevada.....you can't wait to get back.' -- is about 1,000,000% better than the agency's. It could be alliterated a bit more with: Nevada ... you can't wait to come back. I have a few ideas in mind, too. The point is to present a few great tags, among which I would include Darth's.