In a casual remark to a Globe reporter, newly appointed Massachusetts tourism director Rich Doucette said that we need a catchier tourist come-on than the state’s current marketing hook, “It’s All Here.” Shortly afterwards, his agency created a special website for citizens to suggest a new slogan.
Wait — haven't I seen this movie before? In 2002, the state staged a contest for residents to pitch ideas for a new slogan. The state's slogan at the time, "The Spirit of Massachusetts is the Spirit of America," was deemed too unwieldy to fit on license plates and T-shirts.
The hoi polloi came up with honkers like "Massachusetts: Where Freedom Begins;" "Mass. Is Magic'' and "Come Share the Common Wealth.'' Eventually the state paid a branding company $300,000 for the admittedly uninspiring, "Massachusetts . . . Make It Yours."
Herewith my humble suggestions. Rich Doucette, just send the check to the Globe. They know where to find me.
1. Thank Us for Thanksgiving
2. Plenty More Kennedys Where Those Came From
3. As Nice As Canada, With Lower Taxes
4. Got Cod?
5. Sports Capital of the Upper-Right Hand Corner of America
6. There is No T in Massachusetts (joke)
7. It All Started Here, Alas
8. Six Years Since the Last House Speaker Indictment!
9. "Dirty Water": More Than a Song, A State of Mind
10. Dude, We're a Commonwealth!
11. We Ditched the Tea Party 200 Years Ago
12. Massachusetts; Love it and Leave It! (This campaign will feature the seemingly endless list of A-level achievers, e.g. Conan O'Brien, the filmy Afflecks, Mindy Kaling, and Edgar Allan Poe, who have made good by moving out. Indeed, if you don't have a sinecure at a major university or at a metropolitan newspaper, the question arises: What are you doing here?)
Here is my lucky 13th suggestion that will doubtless win me a well-deserved bagful of simoleons:
13. America's Olympic State*
* Not So Fast, Pal
Alex Beam's column appears regularly in the Globe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.