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Rejected Slogans for $500K Hawaiian Marketing Blitz

Posted February 27, 2013, 11:15 AM HST Updated February 27, 2013, 02:59 PM HST

The “blitz” is real. The slogans are not. Yes, this is satire…again.

sat·ire  /ˈsaˌtī(ə)r/ Noun

A literary work in which human vice or folly is exposed or criticized through irony, derision, or wit.

By Vanessa Wolf

Courtesy of Morguefile.

Courtesy of Morguefile.

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) recently launched a month-long marketing blitz in New York and Chicago, two of its largest markets, both of which they identified as being on the “East Coast” even though the one that starts with a “C” is actually in the Midwest. Seriously. Look at a map.

Tomato tomahto.

The goal of the blitz is to make it clear that when you don’t live on the mainland everything becomes one large blob of either “East Coast,” “West Coast” or “That Cold Place With the Salmon.” And, to increase tourism from the “East Coast” over the next several months.

A variety of advertising campaigns were considered to raise awareness and increase enthusiasm about visiting our island home.

For the Chicago market, a number of slogans were tested – and unilaterally rejected – with focus groups. Among the rejects were:

“You call that pizza!? That’s OK. We make this giant sushi roll thing with a slab of Spam.”

“‘Second to None’ meet ‘No Ka Oi’: let’s agree to disagree.”


Stealing a page from South Africa’s vague and somewhat “meh” campaign, “Hawaii: it’s possible” was also tested with a resounding, “What does that mean?” response.

Courtesy of Morguefile.

Courtesy of Morguefile.

With the New York demographic there was a focus on weather and the high cost of living, bringing such duds as:

“It’s just as expensive as home… only warmer.”

“Plenty of parking!”


“Rice. Get used to it.”

In the end, two mediocre slogans were left and the campaign plans to run each of them in both markets.

In the hopes of conveying a true sense of aloha, they are hoping that we all participate in greeting our “East Coast” homies with an enthusiastic, “Got rainbows?”

In addition, next time you see someone with a fierce sunburn wearing a Bulls cap, be sure to point out what an aloe plant looks like while welcoming them with the other slogan, “You’ve got a friend in Pukalani.”

Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. -Vanessa (@mauinow.com)


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