Advertising on the Edge – Louisville Gets Controversial

The city of Louisville recently launched the Share Louisville campaign. It consists of a website and some videos, which also run as television commercials, about the city. The videos are, like the one embedded in this post, somewhat controversial. Locally, some people love them and other people hate them. This quote from the website sums up the attitude:

In Chicago, a woman wakes up to garbage trucks and car alarms instead of chirping birds. Somewhere a man is sharing a tiny apartment with a rat named Terry. And it's not his pet. In Las Vegas, a man is mowing his dirt.

Everywhere in America people are suffering and leading sad, empty lives. Everywhere except in a city called Louisville, where anything is possible.

Are the videos in bad taste? Yes. Some of them probably are. But I think that was the point. If the city had run another "blah blah, this city is great" campaign, no one would have paid any attention. By being unique and controversial, at least people are talking about it. I'm not crazy about the ads, but I applaud the Greater Louisville Community Branding Project for showing some guts. That is the kind of attitude it takes to encourage real change, and to get things done.

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