Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Selling Cincinnati

Keeping with the Cincinnati theme, I’m posting two videos marketing the city. I’ll post these without comment and let you share your thoughts. I’ll be back on the flip side of Easter with a least one more Cincinnati post.

First, “Make Cincy Yours.” I’m not exactly sure who put this one out. If the video doesn’t display for you, click here.

The next one is from the Chamber of Commerce and is called “Meet Cincinnati USA: We Do What We Love.” If the video doesn’t display for you, click here.

h/t Indy’s We Are City Newsletter for these videos.

Topics: Civic Branding
Cities: Cincinnati

15 Responses to “Selling Cincinnati”

  1. DaveOfRichmond says:

    Here I was going to make a snarky remark about mustard yellow flood pants guy, but Quimbob’s link did it sooooo much better than I ever could.

    Seriously though, the guy in the CoC video is out in front of the camera on every shot. If you want to sell the city, show me the city, not some distracting person talking and blocking the view. The first video was better.

  2. That’s hilarious

  3. Gerhard E. says:

    At what point can us ‘city consumers’ sue for false advertising?

  4. Bryan G says:

    I love Cincinnati and wanted to love these videos. But goodness they’re cliched and awful.

  5. Sarah says:

    I think the 3rd video would make me want to move there the most, to meet hilarious people!

  6. Todd says:

    Great city. But let’s be honest, there is zero street life after 5:00 when the office workers go home. The city seems to want new residential, but there is work to be done. Undeniable density and great topography, but the city needs energy badly. This is my opinion of living the city from living 20 minutes away in Northern Kentucky. Also, the video is very lame.

  7. John Morris says:

    What areas & neighborhoods do you hang out in and how do you generally get there?

    Pittsburgh’s downtown is only semi active outside of theater & game nights. But, the city really has two downtowns.

  8. RJB says:

    The people who make these videos are not hipsters themselves (I presume), so why can’t they help themselves by painting every city with a hipster brush? Why the hell does every city think the answers to their problems is attracting more hipsters? Is there any evidence that attracting tattooed, nose-ringed, skinny-jeaned, fixie-riding beer brewers will actually bring your city peace and prosperity?

    Also, who is the actual target of this marketing? Yellow pants guy talks about Cincinnati being a place for mothers, fathers, CEOs, school principles, and that you come to Cincinnati to “be a human being”. How does a 22 year old hipster sell those people on the city? A kid in yellow pants who doesn’t give a shit about schools or taxes or business climate thinks you should move your family/business to Cincinnati.

  9. RJB says:

    “We are who we love, and we love who we are.”
    Who writes this nonsense?

    “This city doesn’t feel like a city.”
    Ok, I’m intrigued, but you kinda have to explain what that means.

  10. George V says:

    Do you want a live somewhere where you’ll spend more time on experiences and less on driving? Do you believe in diversity? Do you want more culture than fast food row and an AMC?


    Then come to old urban city X!

    Scared of high taxes and poor neighborhoods? Is a parking your first and last concern when going out? Do you value a big yard more than a historic commercial district?

    Then new exurb Y is the perfect fit!

    Really, those are the core truths for almost any Midwestern metro. Where these videos CONSTANTLY fail is that the creators constantly skirt around the real discussions going on in people’s heads and homes. Every big city brews its own IPAs, has food trucks, an orchestra, and sports. We know that. We know that cities have more culture and a corporate HQ or 2.

    Big whoop. I can drive downtown whenever I want.

    You have to give us more real, concrete reasons for moving to urban city X. You have to attack assumptions. Don’t tell me people in Cincinnati are “friendly” – you and every other neighborhood.

    Tell us more about diversity. Tell us why we shouldn’t worry about crime. Tell us why it’s good for us to drive less. Tell us how the higher taxes work for us.

    Look, I’m someone who is already sold on the city, and the fact is that the smarmy, irrelevant nature of “We Do What We Love” makes me like cities less. It’s an empty, vacuous presentation and I fear it typifies the directionless values of many millenials moving into the city right now (I write this as a millenial). We need to do better.

  11. John Morris says:


    “Why the hell does every city think the answers to their problems is attracting more hipsters?”

    Not saying a city can live by hipsters alone but a lot of them are attracted to urban life. Millenials & students have played a huge role in Pittsburgh’s revival and certainly seem to be driving the ball in Cleveland.

    What cities don’t seem to get is that many millenials are attracted to cities- not for high end assets as much their ability to provide an interesting, low cost lifestyle. This is a group pressured by student debt, low incomes and not likely to buy into the job for life promise.

    “Tell us how the higher taxes work for us.”

    Is there really something inherent in dense cities that requires high taxes? Is this a big problem in Hong Kong?
    Does a walkable street grid cost a lot of money?
    Lower, per person, infrastructure costs should allow for a lower tax environment.

    School Choice is much more viable in denser areas- and already plays a big role for urban residents who can afford private schools.

    If Cincinnati has high taxes & poor services, that reflects how the city is run.

  12. George V. says:

    “Is there really something inherent in dense cities that requires high taxes?”

    No. Except, of course, that a developed city will have more maintenance costs than a developing city. But that doesn’t account for the whole of the discrepancy.

    As for Cincinnati: it has city income tax of 2.1%. However, it’s unique in the sense that Ohio is big on city income taxes. Only Pennsylvania has more cities with income taxes. So, it’s less of competitive disadvantage for Cincinnati than most other cities with income taxes, but the fact remains that you can go to a suburb and pay less (or not at all if you’re lucky).

    In most other states, city income taxes are a huge problem for the cities forced to impose the fees. Why would I live in Detroit, for example, and pay a 2.4% city income, when I could live in any of the nearby suburbs and pay no city income tax? You could get away with city income taxes when you were the only “city” in the region. But modern suburbs offer all the services people want, and usually better quality services, too.

    It’s a huge handicap. I live in the city and pay the income taxes, but I don’t think I’m getting a deal.

    The root of the problem is how the U.S. handles municipalities. It’s too easy to for the wealthy to create new suburbs whenever they want to escape legacy costs, all while continuing to benefit from the infrastructure they won’t pay for. And honestly, that’s why our big cities generally suck. The rules are stacked against older developments.

    It’ll never change, at least not until the U.S. is full of dystopian, Mad Max-style cores, the haves hiding in the exurban countryside. Oh wait… that’s already happening.

  13. Eric says:

    Everyone is copying the Pure Michigan format

  14. Jon Seisa says:

    I really enjoyed the Grand Rapids American Pie video. My favortite and one of the best… it has 5,375,749 views:

The Urban State of Mind: Meditations on the City is the first Urbanophile e-book, featuring provocative essays on the key issues facing our cities, including innovation, talent attraction and brain drain, global soft power, sustainability, economic development, and localism. Included are 28 carefully curated essays out of nearly 1,200 posts in the first seven years of the Urbanophile, plus 9 original pieces. It's great for anyone who cares about our cities.

About the Urbanophile


Aaron M. Renn is an opinion-leading urban analyst, consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help America’s cities thrive and find sustainable success in the 21st century.

Full Bio


Please email before connecting with me on LinkedIn if we don't already know each other.



Copyright © 2006-2014 Urbanophile, LLC, All Rights Reserved - Click here for copyright information and disclosures