The Twin Cities have an image problem. A national survey conducted by FutureBrand on behalf of the corporate community — facing the prospect of a critical labor shortage in a “creative class” economy — found that Americans have a fairly negative perception of the area. In particular, respondents “describe the area as quite conservative,” ranking it second most conservative, second least liberal, and last on an array of positive attributes like sophisticated, cultural and artistic, unique, multicultural, livable, youthful, economically vital, flourishing and vibrant, alive, fun and exciting, when compared to six peer areas (the others being Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Denver and Seattle). So, the corporations looked to the area’s large advertising industry to help with a comprehensive branding campaign, “aiming to change perceptions of our community, attract and retain talent as well as visitors.” Little & Company provided some fresh-looking, if somewhat predictably boosterish, creative to introduce the brand as Minneapolis Saint Paul: More to Life.
Ironic, then, that the exact same ads which attempt to dispel “too conservative” prejudices by trumpeting the area’s performance artists (among other things) are being used as talking points for media covering… the Republican National Convention. Someone [h/t Wonkette] even amateurishly pasted an elephant into several of the spots in an effort to make the campaign relevant to the right-wing hoohah.