They are to cities what a first tattoo is to a person: a statement of self-identity, something reverential or maybe even a little naughty. But what a city calls itself – or what residents say about it in sometimes unofficial slogans – says more about a city than stacks and stacks of mind-numbing federal census figures ever could.
“A great city slogan leverages the power of storytelling,” says Dave Mastovich, CEO and founder of MASSolutions, a Pittsburgh-based marketing firm. “It’s a two-way celebration of how a city sees itself and how it wants to be seen. The best tell a story in a few powerful words that pack a marketing wallop that cannot be equaled by million-dollar ad campaigns.”
Some are data-driven results of civic boosters eager to attract attention and tourist dollars or wind up on city hall letterhead. Others are more organic and owe their origins to insightful observations of bar stool philosophers and wind up on tacky tourist merchandise.
Here are 12 of the best and most colorful around the U.S. Though some have been replaced by new slogans, the ones below are enduring and won’t easily be forgotten. And like the cities they represent, they’re all over the map.
Hershey, Pennsylvania: ‘The Sweetest Place on Earth’
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