Auburn: More than you Imagined.
So goes the City’s slogan.
But maybe for not much longer.
City leaders on Monday night talked about replacing or modifying that time-torn, often-snickered-at slogan, without bringing in a pricey consultant, as an earlier council did to summon up the current gem.
The City Council even talked about doing without any slogan at all. As Deputy Mayor Largo Wales said, “Let Auburn speak for itself.”
“We’ve had discussion over the years that, ‘More than you Imagined’ … doesn’t state what’s really happening in Auburn,” Wales said.
Whatever the City decides to do, Wales added, she doesn’t want to spend a hoard.
“I think the advice we have gotten from our economic development consultants is that we do need to change it,” said Councilman Rich Wagner. “… I certainly think we should.”
Councilman Claude DaCorsi nodded.
“The trick is how? Rebranding is expensive,” DaCorsi said.
Mayor Nancy Backus argued that slogans, a favorite among economic development people, don’t really do much for cities.
“If you want to slogan something, you slogan a campaign, but slogans for cities aren’t what people are looking at. If you slogan a campaign, that might be more of an opportunity to get attention on a specific campaign. Nobody really cares about city slogans.”
“Or they make fun of them,” Wagner said.
“Possibly slogans are best for campaigns,” Wales said. “Usually, a campaign has a short life, then it doesn’t develop a life of its own, as ours has.
Wales added that she wasn’t talking about political campaigns, but the type of campaigns that promote a particular event.
Councilman Bob Baggett said he’d done research into what other cities are doing slogan-wise, and found in a broad swatch across the nation an appalling heap of risible cornpone.
“I went online with my wife, and we looked at the city slogans throughout nation. You’d be surprised at how many are really hokey. It really boggled my mind that cities can actually come up with some of these,” Baggett said.
But, Baggett suggested, should the City decide to change its slogan, maybe it should first form a committee of some kind and get information from residents to see what they think.
“As you engage a lot of those folks, you really need to give them something to bounce off of their brains,” Wagner said. “Just bringing them a white paper doesn’t work for a lot of people. Yeah, I’d like to get input from people, but it might be better to do what Bob did. Here’s a list of what happens around the country. As an Auburn citizen, do you think we ought to do one of these kinds of things?”