Feb 11, 2022 - News

Chicago's new marketing campaign blasted

Picture of a zipper

Posters from the city's "Chicago Not In Chicago" campaign. Courtesy of City of Chicago

Recent Chicago Sun-Times and Tribune editorials savaged the city's puzzling new marketing slogan — "Chicago Not In Chicago."

  • The Sun-Times said it was "likely to have people stay home," while the Tribune called it "terrible."
  • The big complaint? The campaign focuses more on other cities and how they were influenced by Chicago innovations.

Why it matters: While the slogan was created for free, it could still end up being costly.

  • Branding is important as local tourism recovers from massive pandemic-related damage.
  • Even at the peak of summer last year, hotel occupancy reached just 60% of what it was in 2019.

The latest: The city's chief marketing officer defended the campaign in a Tribune op-ed this week, saying the intent was misunderstood.

  • Michael Fassnacht stressed it is not a new tourism slogan but instead "a smart and cheeky guerilla marketing campaign."

Fact check: If it's not a tourism campaign, why is the city putting ads for it in national newspapers?

💭 Justin's thought bubble: I'm glad the city wants to highlight what we've accomplished, but locals don't need to be reminded that we have changed the world. That information is passed down from generation to generation.

  • I guess anything is better than The Milly.
  • Maybe try: "Chicago: Is it summer yet?"

💭 Monica's thought bubble: I love the idea of telling stories about Chicago history, but can we launch an effective new tourism campaign first?

  • How about, "Chicago: We are almost finished with the Jane Byrne Interchange."

📫 Email us at [email protected] with your best/funniest new tourism slogans and we'll share them next week.


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