Read This Column…

I've decided that the above headline is going to be the slogan for this column. “Read This Column.” I like that. It’s short, simple, to the point, and modeled in the style of the creative geniuses at the Florida tourism agency (FLA USA).

Apparently, somebody decided that Florida just wasn't cool enough (that is, in a hep-cat, bees-knees kind of way), so it was proclaimed that Florida tourism needed a new slogan. I'm sure dozens, perhaps hundreds of ideas were spread out over the table, scribbled on the drawing board, and thrown to the wall to see if they'd stick.

"Florida: Where The Sun Always Shines... Except During the Twenty-Three Hurricanes We Experience Each Year!" was likely the first of the suggestions to be tossed out.
I personally sent in my suggestion of, “Florida: The Spring Break and Shuffleboard Capitol of the World” and was turned down outright.

A few more tries and eventually they came up with the brilliant suggestion of - and I'm not kidding - "Visit Florida." You read that right - it's the suggestion of the FLA-USA folks that Florida change the tourism motto to simply, "Visit Florida."

Perhaps the Florida tourism agency has spent a bit too much time reading about Alice's adventures in Wonderland. "Eat me." "Drink Me." Alice did exactly as she was told when reading the labels. Are the American people so easily swayed that the tourism industry has decided it no longer needs to do anything but simply suggest a destination and people will suddenly clamor for fresh Florida orange juice squeezed with their own hands?

Then again, maybe we're on to something here. Florida wouldn't just take any yokel's suggestion. They hired a big-time ad agency to come up with these ideas. So perhaps the K.I.S.S. principle ("Keep It Simple Stupid" - not to be confused with old metal band wearing black and white make-up and stiletto heals) is the most profitable direction to take.

Car companies can now stop airing commercials toting the safety, luxury, or fuel economy of the newest models. They'll just simply say, "Buy a Ford" or "Drive a Chevy." That would also save a lot of money on big lettering for the dealers' road signs.

Forget "Must see TV!" From now on the networks can use newer, better slogans like "Watch ABC!" Or perhaps twist it, and talk about the competition: "Watch ABC because CBS stinks!" People will be instantly convinced in the superiority of ABC and swear to never change the station ever again.

No more religious wars. We’ll simply drop fliers all over the Middle East saying, “Choose Christianity.” War over. Bring the boys home.

In years past, Nike told us to, "Just do it." While people with an IQ of over 86 questioned the slogan and waited for somebody to eventually finish the thought ("just do… what?”), others did exactly as ordered. They just did it... and spent hundreds of dollars to encompass their feet with ninety-dollars of leather, shoestrings, and a non-specific swoosh symbol.

Why was the NIKE campaign so successful? Now we know. Obviously, it was designed and implemented by the Florida tourism agency.

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