Culture Crisis: Scrap the Slogan, Shreveport/Bossier
February 11, 2016.
I don’t know who came up with it and I don’t care. We are dubbed “Louisiana’s Other Side” by our Convention and Tourism Bureau, and I’m dubbing that slogan a failure. I know people who work for the Convention and Tourism Bureau that apologize and explain away our epically bad moniker for this area. By its very nature, the name makes anyone who loves Shreveport/Bossier annoyed… as if there is something wrong with us. We paid somebody (an ad agency) to call us that!
While we continue to examine our cultural identity, we better go ahead and break down this “other side” nonsense. While you cannot get most people in Shreveport to easily agree on most things, the Convention and Tourism Bureau somehow did it… we all agree that “Louisiana’s Other Side” needs to become our slogan of the past… never to be resuscitated. Let’s bury that one in the appendix of the history book on this place.
1. What does “Other Side” even mean? Louisiana’s Other Side indicates that there exists a part of some place that everyone knows or cares about… but we ARE NOT it. Are we the North side of a southbound mule?
2. How are we defining who we are by pointing, and declaring ONLY that we are NOT those guys? This gives outsiders zero indication as to who WE are. It’s actually kind of gives off that dumped ex-girlfriend vibe, like we are so consumed with jealousy that we only talk about that guy we never really got over named New Orleans. We pretend like we have moved on, but we aren’t fooling anybody. In truth, we really like New Orleans just fine. I think I can speak for all of us here when we happily say that we don’t want to ever be New Orleans. It’s a great place to visit, but not where we want to live. Let NOLA be themselves.
3. Who are we attracting with this slogan? Do we seriously think that people who are spending their tourism dollars in Louisiana will somehow be coaxed into traveling into our fair city because we are drafting off of the marketing wake of New Orleans?
4. Why are we sticking with this insanity? Since this ill-fated slogan came into existence in 2008, I have yet to meet ONE person who loved this slogan enough to even give it a half-hearted defense. Our out of town friends laugh when they see it. In spite of how embarrassed we all are by the “other side”, we actually just stick with it… plodding along, just hoping that someone will free us of the bondage of this bad idea.
I say, be free and rid yourself of this. We are not just some “Other Side”. If the Shreveport/Bossier Convention and Tourism Bureau thinks this is who we are, they are out of touch, and need a not so gentle nudge back to reality.
We are a tremendous pair of cities with a unique and colorful history. We deserve better. We have a tremendous worldwide impact on music from our days of churning out legends like Lead Belly and giving Elvis his first break at the Louisiana Hayride.
Shreveport/Bossier has a culture that is a little bit of everything. We could just as easily lay claim to being the “other side” of Texas.
We have the mightiest Air Force base in the country. We can and will use it, and the men and women who serve here often stay here… proving that we aren’t that bad of a place to be.
If the logjam (The Great Raft), was an interstate highway, it would take you two hours and twenty minutes just to drive the distance of it. We cleared the whole thing back in the 1830’s! We are people who can and do accomplish a whole lot.
Our food is second to none. Our hospitality and laid back nature are not easily duplicated. You cannot easily define a people with as much uniqueness and consequence, but we can sure try a little harder.
Let’s scrap “Louisiana’s Other Side”. Let’s start the conversation about who we are, how we sell ourselves to the outside world, and let’s be proud to be that.
Can you think of a better slogan for our area? At the risk, but the entertainment value, of the jokes that will inevitably come forward… please begin to share your ideas. (Remember that those who just make fun of this place are doing so because they, like the rest of us, have lived in a place with a severe lack of identity, pride or vision… so we can certainly understand their lack of constructive creativity.) Use the hashtag #ScraptheSlogan and give us your thoughts of a better slogan for our home.