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October 2007


Paul Dushkind

Hotlanta doesn't sound very catchy to me, but the strongest argument you make for Hotlanta as Atlanta's nickname is that the term has already caught on in Georgia. You Atlantans know what you mean: your image of your home town is that it's growing fast. And that the weather is hot, of course.

But I wonder if the slogan travels well. Sitting here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I, for one, didn't realize that Atlantans call the place Hotlanta, or that Hotlanta is a hiphop term. To an outsider, calling a city hot may mean that it has a lot of strip shows. (Isn't that what you would infer if Las Vegas touted itself as hot?)

I Googled the word Hotlanta and the first things that came up were gay and lesbian dance clubs and gay and lesbian softball leagues! As Seinfeld would say, not that there is anything wrong with that, but it's not promoting the image that business and population are growing.

Wouldn't "Boomtown" or something along that line work better? I don't if there is already a city that owns the name Boomtown.

PS. If your publicity adopts such a theme, what do you say in a few years when business in the Atlanta Metropolitan area cools off? It happened to Seattle.

David McElroy

To Ben Bacon:

Hip-hop music might have adopted the term "Hotlanta," but it's been in common use in the South since long before hip hop ever existed. In the same way, the term "left coast" (and "right coast," for that matter) were around long before today's hip hop artists were even born. The fact that a certain culture adopted those terms doesn't stop them from being a part of the larger culture. The "suits" don't know hip-hop culture, but I'll bet they've heard the term Hotlanta for many, many years.


Impressive words here...just landed here via a search on "Laura Ries" since a news story on google news identified you as saying that it's sad that Kodak isn't sponoring the olympics anymore. I read your words of wisdom on focus at "ries.com" and have to say "impressive...such obvious, but great words & things we shouldn't forget." Keep up the great blogging & work.

Visit Yogyakarta

What about "Jogja - never ending Asia" slogan?

Yogyakarta (some people call it Jogja, Jogjakarta, or Yogya) is a city with outstanding historical and cultural heritage. Yogyakarta was the centre of the Mataram Dynasty (1575-1640), and until now the kraton (the sultan's palace) exists in its real functions. Also, Yogyakarta has numerous thousand-year-old temples as inheritances of the great ancient kingdoms, such as Borobudur temple established in the ninth century by the dynasty of Syailendra.

Sunil S Chiplunkar

Incredible India because Pakistan is not credible!! Ha, ha I quite like that. But frankly it wasn't meant to be that - sort of raise curiosity - that was the idea behind the slogan - Incredible India. But is has caught your mind so there is some punch in the slogan.

Geoff Livingston

Does that mean DC should brand itself the District of Corruption? Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Hotlanta would be cute, and it could be sexy, too. Sex appeal works for vacation. Do one wants to have a dull, lame and/or annoying vacation.

Also: This is NYC is absolutely ridiculous. All of that talent on Madison Ave. and that's what they came up with? Sounds like a pure ego play that will rally the inside troops, and p' off the rest of the country. End result: Bad for tourism.

Ben Bacon

Hotlanta is great, but it has one dominating problem: Hotlanta is a hip-hop term. I truly believe that The Suits would have quite a hard time swallowing slang slogans from the streets (say that five times fast).

Imagine NY running a campaign with "Crooklyn" or LA announcing that they're the "Left Coast."

If Hotlanta could be brought into the mainstream, then it is a wonderful idea. But, like "bling-bling" and "homie," it appears to be a word peeled from the streets (yet never truly leaving its roots).

For fun, give Jermaine Dupri and Ludacris' "Welcome to Atlanta" song a spin, since it seems to be Rep the Streets Day 2007 in ATL. :)


It seems, Laura, that blogging does have an impact - eventually. In Atlanta's case - it took about a couple of years?

I do recall your Dad - Al Ries - suggesting the perfect moniker - Hotlanta - to mirror its rapid rise up the US domestic destination league table.

Leadership of a category is a powerful strategy to position a brand. It seems that people are drawn to where it's 'hot' despite the possible negative interpretation of unbearable summer temperatures.

So how should Atlanta build on its domestic success and rival New York's international positioning as a world-class city based on ex-Mayor RudiG's big brand idea: The World's Capital? (Some of us may recall post 9-11 when the then New York Mayor stepped onto a British Airways flight from London and uttered the immortal words: "Welcome to the World's Capital")

By developing the tactical idea: "Now that you've visited The Big Apple: the World's favorite American destination, you're ready to experience Hotlanta: America's favorite American destination", you lead people from what they know to where you want them to go. (Atlanta's airport has overtaken Chicago's airport as America's busiest domestic port)

So let's now try and put forward a powerful global brand plan based on that tactic.

Atlanta is home to two of the World's top brands - Coca Cola: the World's No.1 product brand, and CNN: the World's No.1 news channel. The perfect opportunity to co-brand product with place.

But Coca Cola and CNN are both strongly associated with Brand America, whose current strategy of exporting the 'American Dream' - Land of the Free - using military might, has plunged the country's international brand image and reputation to an all-time historic low.

Although this is unquestionably a difficult period for Brand America and every brand associated with it, it's important to remember that it's only temporary from the perspective of an historic timeline. However, within every cloud there's a silver lining - an opportunity for the city of Atlanta and its people, to catapult themselves onto the world stage - post Olympics.

Atlanta is the spiritual home of arguably one of the greatest personal brands in 20th Century history - the late Martin Luther King - who, having been influenced by India's Gandhi, campaigned under a 'freedom-thru-non-violence' strategy.

Atlanta, by becoming a cultural activist through co-branded campaigns with The King Center as well as Coca Cola and CNN, the city has the credentials as well as the resources to take up Brand America's greatest challenge in the 21st Century, and in doing so, it would build a global leadership position for itself.

Atlantans, Uncle Sam Wants You (and Needs You Now)!

'Brand' the Marketect

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