Do you know the tourism slogan for Missouri?No?  Me neither.

But then, I guess we're not really....using it, are we?  I mean, we live here.  Apparently, we're using "Friendly. Unassuming. Full of surprises. That's me — Missouri."


Okay.  Seems fine.   Now, as you're thinking about that, watch this.

So Nebraska's tourism slogan is "Nebraska:  Honestly, it's not for everyone."

Or, it was. This week, Nebraska's tourism commission announced that it was ditching the tagline, because, "It's a thing of the past." And, "Times change. Everything has a shelf life."

Which, you know, makes it sound like it's been around forever. But it's only five years old. Which doesn't seem like it had a good chance to prove itself? Well, the big wigs thought so, anyway. But apparently, it was successful. A survey of tourists in the target market for Nebraska showed interest rising from 19% in 2019 to 39% more recently. I mean, I know my interest in Nebraska peaked just now at... mild.... because of that ad.  And Nebraska moved up to become the 41st state people were interested in visiting, up from 50th, AKA DEAD LAST. It was #50 for Four Years, you guys.

Nebraska map vector illustration. Global economy. State in America. North America. United States. America. U.S.A
Hanif Zahari

But the slogan wasn't for everyone (see what I did there). The governor, Republican Jim Pillen, wasn't a fan. He recently called it "nonsense," and urged the commission to find a new slogan. It's unclear what the next slogan will be, but in the past it was, "Nebraska: Where the West Begins." Which is so boring, I nearly fell asleep while typing that.


To me, okay, here's my take. I have never been to Nebraska. There has never been anything that has made me think that I need to go there, that it would be fun to go there, or that I would miss out on an experience if I didn't go there. I've never looked at Nebraska and thought, "Oh wow, that one's a bucket list destination".

But honestly, I thought about it for a second after I saw that commercial. I'm still not gonna go, but... I thought about it. For the first time. Ever. Why would you want to stop that, Nebraska?! BECAUSE YOU'RE AFRAID PEOPLE MIGHT THINK YOU'RE A LITTLE WIERD?!


I mean, I get you don't want to make people think you're crazy like Florida, but... come on.   People weren't thinking about you AT ALL.

Seriously, Neb.... you're making a mistake here. You were right to try to lean into something unique. And you were smart to appeal to people who have a fear of missing out. Think of all the people who never wanted to step foot into a school, a job, or a party, or whatever, until they were told they wouldn't like it.  You had a shot to make Nebraska feel exclusive, or misunderstood, or mysterious, even!   Now, it's gone.

I mean, I know the Nebraska tourism people don't give two flips about my two cents, but... to me, you're backing away from individualism here.

And that's boring.  Like Nebraska.


Tourismly yours,

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