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Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Hello, Calgary!

City slogans and songs are notoriously cheesy and no one locally even likes them. Ira Glass of This American Life heard that there was an exception to this rule in Calgary. The first segment of this show below is the almost unreal story of what happened when they looked into this. There’s a short promo at the beginning to get through first. If the embed doesn’t display, listen at the show’s web site.

4 Comments
Topics: Civic Branding, Urban Culture
Cities: Calgary

4 Responses to “Hello, Calgary!”

  1. Joe says:

    As a Calgary Resident for too long I seem to remember this as an advertisement for CFAC Channel 2 and 7 – there is a part in the clip Hello Calgary Channel 2 and 7 loves you……..

    Was the civic branding first?

    It does not surprise me that some businesses are based around serving municipalities, kind of like if your business is oil and gas wellhead equipment you target oil and gas producers……….. What is worrisome is the tendency of people to jump on the bandwagon regardless of what makes sense for the local environment.

  2. John Morris says:

    But the basic feeling and need to love their town did make sense to people- who filled in the blanks with their own emotions.

    Think how generic the I Love NY campaign was but it hit a cord at just the right time- reminding people that they actually did like a lot of things about it.

  3. pete-rock says:

    I’ll never forget the “Hello Indiana” jingle that I first heard when we moved to Muncie in the early ’80s:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POTL4aAGpfM

    I suspect Aaron’s familiar with this too. It may have rung proud and true to folks in Calgary, but I remembered it as being cheesy and inauthentic even then.

    I’ve always felt this was a forced sentimentality from a city’s elite class, too. Like the city fathers say, “this is what we think of our city, and you should too.” And if the elite class lacks much diversity, you can’t expect that their notions of sentimentality will capture all the nuances of the area.

  4. Pete, one thing this shows is how our world has changed since then. In the age of the internet everybody would instantly figure out that this campaign was a widely repeated meme clone. We were very much stuck in our local worlds back then.

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