Tuesday, May 1, 2007

cleveland +

last week the greater cleveland marketing alliance unveiled it's new campaign for the region branding it cleveland +. I first encountered the campaign on wcpn my first reaction was mixed as I heard cleveland plus and not cleveland + . okay, so what's the big diff? when I heard cleveland plus I thought, "plus... plus sizes! oh great, call attention to cleveland's problem with community obesity" (cleveland routinely ends up on lists of the country's 10 fattest cities , and sometimes makes the top 5!) so that's why my reaction was mixed. but then later the same day I encountered a print story on the campaign which showed it as cleveland + and provided some examples of prospective ads - my reaction went from mixed (leaning toward negative) to positive. the campaign hopes to promote the entire northeast ohio region (cleveland + akron + canton + kent) and the benefits and attractions of the region (the rock hall + the metroparks + the cleveland museum of art + the medical institutions + outstanding colleges and universities).

yesterday while I was on a photo gig I met barb - another transplant to cleveland. barb has lived here seven years, this summer will mark my tenth year. unlike me, who came to cleveland after living for years in new england and being a self-identified 'easterner,' barb is pure southern charm. prior to moving to cleveland barb and her husband lived and raised their family in the south - arkansas, louisana, mississippi, and kentucky.

despite our different paths to cleveland, barb and I discovered a mutual love for cleveland and all it offers. barb shared a story about how a few years ago she was on a plane, the man sitting next to her asked her where she's from. she answered "cleveland" his response was "oh, I'm sorry." barb said her immediate response was to launch into this guy and ask him when was the last time he was in cleveland! she let him know that cleveland is a great place and maybe he should visit cleveland and learn that for himself!
before barb moved to cleveland she admitted that she shared her fellow passenger's attitude and actually swore to her husband that she would "never" live in cleveland! well she moved here, in addition to learning never to say never, in short time she discovered that she loved cleveland. she and her husband will soon be retiring and moving back down south in order to be near their kids and grandkids. but it's with a heavy heart that she will be leaving. although she said she won't miss the cleveland winters she will miss the friendliness of the people here and the ease and comfort of everyday life.

I hope that this cleveland + campaign is effective - the region has so much to offer. however, until folks experience things for themselves, they will often hold on to biases and prejudices. at one time cleveland was known as the 'mistake on the lake' but it's been a long time since its lived up to that reputation. cleveland + is re-inventing itself - we are moving away from the rust of its industrial- manufacturing past and toward a bright high-tech, cultural inventive and intensely green future!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

what colour are your pom-poms? just kidding... xx. e.

kimy said...

green & blue of course! ah you ask why green and blue - bet you can figure it out! xx