February 6, 2013 at 6:00 AM
We’re Metronatural no more — but will “Visit Seattle” trip off your tongue?
If you’ve been lurking around Seattle since the Early Cretaceous as some of us have, you may remember some of the incarnations of the city’s visitor-promotion agency and how it has packaged our fair city.
Back in 1982, the Seattle-King County Convention and Visitors Bureau officially dubbed us the Emerald City, after a public contest to come up with a new moniker. (The previous “Queen City” seemed more appropriate to London — or perhaps the more colorful neighborhoods of San Francisco.)
In the late ’90s, another promotional campaign involved a rebus representation of “See-@-L,” including a drawing of an eyeball for the “See” sound and the @ symbol suggestive of the Internet (appropriate for our Microsoftie metropolis).
Then in 2006 we became the Metronatural city — a misguided slogan developed at a cost of $200,000 that seemed like a spinoff of the teeth-curling “metrosexual” label that helped lose the 2004 presidential election for now-Secretary of State John Kerry.
Our Metronatural era went hand-in-Gucci-glove with the much-hated, ill-fated Washington state tourism slogan “Say WA.” (Remember that?) Like “Say WA” — which evoked images of an unpleasant dental procedure — “Metronatural” never really caught fire. Backers hoped it would paint a picture of a city where hip young tech-startup founders hop out of their sea kayaks and catch a streetcar to the symphony. Detractors said it made us sound like one big urban nudist camp.
In the meantime, the city’s promotional agency was calling itself a more-streamlined “Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau” (dropping the King County reference).
Now, even more streamlining: Both the bureau’s name and its slogan have been boiled down to “Visit Seattle.” (Its URL, too: visitseattle.org.) Their new logo slopes the tops of the t’s and the “L” in Seattle to evoke the Space Needle and a mountain slope. Kinda.
I’ll say one thing. It’s concise.
And after “Metronatural” and “Say WA,” maybe simple is smart.
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