OMG, you guys, what can we do to put ourselves on the map?

Ed Schipul, Creative Commons license

Jay Walljasper had a feature on Minnpost yesterday, expressing concern that the Twin Cities (don’t call them that) of Minneapolis and St. Paul (too many syllables) don’t have a firm national identity other than that they’re cold in the winter. Walljasper continued his series today.

Despite scads of stats showing strong employment and above-average amenities, the city isn’t attracting hip, cool people at nearly a fast enough rate, according to the analysis of experts.

Part of it is the name, Walljasper explains. Twin Cities is too vague. Minneapolis-St. Paul is a mouthful. The state has a habit of using “Minnesota” interchangeably with its largest cities. Some folks have ideas, though:

Langley prefers MSP, which also happens be the name of the new organization he heads to attract and retain investment in the 16-county metropolitan region — Greater MSP. It sounds sporty, like LA, DC or NYC. It also happens to be our 3-letter Airport code, which other cities like Portland (PDX) are adopting as monikers.

 Hello, welcome to our airport. But it’s not just the name that’s a problem, it’s our “brand.”

Jeff Berg, creative director at Olson, which is famed for branding campaigns commissioned by everyone from the Detroit Pistons to Pepsico, says it’s elementary marketing: “We have to figure out what makes us unique from other places. How are we different from, say, San Francisco?”

Off the top of his head, he rolls out some ideas. “Consider the dress code for most men here: flannel, jeans, boots. Does that not say hardy pioneer stock? How do we get people to consider us as a place to live? Maybe they have to ask themselves: Am I hardy (and hearty) enough? Do I want to be a pioneer of industry, live in the land where creativity is demanded? Am I looking for the easy way or the road less traveled? There’s a great play of words here — Minnesota: Can you weather it?”

My New York friend being pulled on an easy chair with skis
behind a snowmobile on an Iron Range lake.

Bear in mind, he’s talking about Minneapolis and St. Paul. I’m parked 280 miles north in the woods surrounding the Mesabi Iron Range. So what would our new slogan be? Well, here’s my first draft:

Do you like fresh water? Do you like things made of metal? Do you like things made of wood. Do you like fish? We’ve got those things. But we don’t want any shit from you. What do you want us to do? Dance for you? Not going to happen. Ya, they run some plays down at the theater sometimes. I don’t know, my kid was in one. My ex does the music. She got my house. Sometimes I don’t know how to express my feelings, so don’t start with me. What do you mean this is too long for a slogan? Go to hell, Twin Citiot. What? You’re from L.A. Well, then screw you big time, pal. [END SLOGAN]

On second thought that probably is too long. Here’s this:

You can get your gas in town. Call my brother if you need fuel oil. 

Oh, I do so hope the fancy people notice us! (hand wringing)


  1. No shit!


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