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Bold Ideas For Re-Branding Michigan

Topics: Politics | 1 CommentBy admin | January 29, 2011

Detroit is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, and Michigan has vast unexplored potential as a tourist destination, among other things, so we’ve come up with some bold new ideas for Michigan’s new governor.

Detroit is one of the most recognizable
brands in the world. It just needs a rethink.

In the corporatocracy that America has become, I’m much less concerned with a politician’s party affiliation; I’m well aware that it will only affect how pundits like Glenn Beck or Keith Olbermann will talk about them, not what kind of values they actually have. I know that if they’re a politician that plans to be around for a while, they’ll lie and pander to the public, and then turn around and suck up to corporate interests the first chance they get. Which is why I was a little enthused about the possibilities of Michigan’s new Republican governor, Rick Snyder. It may be just a coincidence that Michigan’s economy is in tatters after Democrat Jennifer Granholm’s eight years in office, but if I gave that idea credence, I’d have to entertain the notion that America’s economy being in tatters had nothing to do with the Bush administration, and that would just be too much logical fallacy for my feeble brain to handle. So as I said, I was at first a little enthused about Governor Snyder. But then I watched his State of the State presentation. I’m calling it a “presentation”, because I’m certainly not the first to take note of its corporate-speak, PowerPoint-like style. So Mr. Snyder, the first of my suggestions will pertain to your delivery, and on the top of the list is that accent of yours. If you’re going to be trying to lure out-of-state business, those nasal, ear-piercing vowels have gotta go. Hire a dialect coach if you need to, or appoint someone to do all the talking for you. Those speech patterns could have easily landed you a part in Fargo, but this isn’t North Dakota. Oh. Wait. I guess it might be nice if it were. Okay, never mind that allusion. You have different problems here, and the first of those is the people you have to inspire. If you’ve ever spent time in Michigan, you may have noticed that while you can almost get a Michigander to say “hi” in the summer, during the winter, the best you can expect when you say hello to a stranger is one raised eyebrow above squinty, snow-weary eyes. What Michiganders really need is an attitude adjustment. And I don’t mean the kind they’ve been getting at the sports bar on the day they pick up their unemployment check. They need some inspiration and pride. And what Michigan in general needs is some re-branding. Fortunately for you Mr. Snyder, you have one of the most powerful brands in the world at your disposal. Yes, I’m talking about Detroit. Go literally anywhere in the world and mention Detroit, and people will know what you’re talking about. They may step back a few feet until they’re sure you’re not going to shoot them or something, but they know the name. So that’s both your gift and your curse, Mr Governor. And this is supposed to be one of your strong points. Detroit is easily one of the most identifiable brands in the world. It just needs a little dusting off. Below are some ideas to get you rolling. I was going to do it in PowerPoint, but I think you need to wean yourself of that little crutch. As someone once said : “PowerPoint. Helping people who don’t know what they’re doing prove it since 1984″.

Michigan High Five

Michigan -America’s

High Five To The World

This is one of the most under-utilized cliches in the history of under-utilized cliches. It immediately highlights one of the most unique things about the state – the fact that it’s shaped like a mitten! It also sends a cross-cultural message of enthusiasm. Unfortunately, you’ll have to avoid including the state’s other peninsula; the combination of the two looks more like a “time out” gesture, and that’s the last thing Michigan needs right now.
No More Made In Detroit

Detroit’s Brand, Part I

It’s Not The Motor

City Any More

Let’s face it. Detroit is not the motor city. That honor now belongs to Toyota City, Aichi, Japan. But that’s really just fine. While being responsible for originally manufacturing the product that creates the vast majority of the world’s energy and pollution problems makes for an interesting legacy, perhaps we can leave that legacy behind. Like the Germans left behind that whole Nazi thing. And by the way, socialism is relevant to this topic, because as cool as the whole gritty “Made in Detroit” thing was on the way down, we need to shed that image. A logo that looks like it belongs to the Soviet Worker’s Party is fun, until there’s actually no place left for the workers to work.

Detroit’s Brand, Part II

It IS An International Port

I hope the whole bridge thing works out, but you’re going to need to back it up with some change in atmosphere. Those Renaissance Center and People Mover concepts would have been less of a travesty if there had been an actual renaissance going on and some people were in fact moving around. So as much as I hate having cops around myself, put one on every single block for a while. Rich fauxhemians have been gentrifying run-down Chicago neighborhoods for decades, but they never would have done it if they had had a strong feeling they were gonna get shot by a crackhead every time they got out of their cars. I’m serious though. Detroit is AN INTERNATIONAL PORT. Use all those urban decay photo collections as a clean up map.


We’re still working on this one. It may have burned itself down before you have to deal with it, but if not, why not guilt-trip Mr Smarty Pants Documentary Guy Michael Moore to pump some of his loot into rehab centers to at least get the junkies off the streets. It’s hard to get the non-existent fire department on the phone when the heroin addicts have stolen all the wires to sell for scrap so they can score.
Michigan The Hemp State


We already touched on this one a while ago. Why not become “The Cannabis State”? Not only does the stuff grow like (ahem) a weed, but on top of the manufacturing and medical products mentioned in that linked article, this would play nicely into that whole “High Five” thing.

Tourism, Hunting, Genetics

The stern demeanor of the typical Michigander could be a slight obstacle to building the state’s image as a tourist destination, but the place is bursting with seasonal beauty, is surrounded by the worlds’ largest freshwater lakes, and has over 10,000 inland lakes. It also has a lot of wildlife you can shoot at. But you’re probably wondering why I threw genetics into the mix. Well, personally I don’t endorse shooting Bambi, so until I pry the guns from the NRA’s cold dead hands, I’ll happily take their money. But I have an innovative idea. The University of Michigan has massively over-budgeted facilities for biological research, and when companies like Pfizer high-tailed it out of here before the shit hit the proverbial fan, they left behind millions of square feet of lab space. Why not contact the Japanese guy that’s cloning the Woolly Mammoth and have him get to work on a T-Rex too? Now THAT would draw some hunting revenue.

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  1. Posted by Is Governor Rick Snyder Planning To Sell Michigan To Taiwan Like He Did Gateway? | dissociatedpress.com on 02.22.11 11:04 pm

    [...] already jokingly offered Michigan’s new governor some suggestions for turning things around in the state; we were trying to be a little positive about having a pro-business, Republican [...]