Best and worst town slogans

So many slogans, so little to cheer.

So many slogans, so little to cheer.

OPINION: Town slogans! They were once all the rage, now they are kind of just still there.

But some slogans are better than others. As voting papers in local body elections are sent out, it pays to remember whether your councillors paid thousands of dollars for a terrible "brand identity" for your town, or whether they hit on something good. Let's begin.

MOST IMPROVED: THE HUTT

Someone once suggested a slogan for the wider Hutt area "Right up my Hutt Valley," which sounds like a joke the marketing agency pitched by accident. Luckily, something closer to "Love the Hutt" or "I love the Hutt" has taken over the slogan game now.  



LEAST IMPROVED: HAMILTON

Hamilton's had a bit of a rollercoaster ride with slogans. It's tried "Fountain City" (there are actually very few fountains in the city), and "more than you expect". The council gave up in 2004, but locals were undeterred, coining "Hamiltron – city of the future" a (very much) unofficial slogan. Did this provide ammo for the city's haters? Yes. But was it better than their current slogan-sort-of-thing: "HamiltON"? Immeasurably. Stick by your ambitions H-Town.



MOST METAPHYSICALLY IMPRESSIVE: FEATHERSTON

Featherston is easy to miss after you come down the Rimutaka Hill Road, speeding on to the more cosmopolitan fare in Greytown, or the big smoke of Masterton. But this town's slogan makes an excellent and absolutely undeniable point: "If you lived here, you'd be home by now." As Featherston's main growth industry is "people who work in Wellington but don't want to pay Wellington house prices," they could be on to something here.



MOST BORING: AUCKLAND

As well as staggering house prices, rampant homelessness, and a large needlelike structure, Auckland is known for being the "City of Sails". Because...boats? How relatable! Maybe if we win America's Cup again this one will mean something - anything - to the 99 percent of us who have never and will never have the money to set foot on a sailboat.

(NB: Some of you may write in the comments that Auckland in fact has a new slogan: "Little Big City". Until the pilots stop saying the "City of Sails" when I land there I'm going to continue to assume that that's your slogan. Sorry.)



MOST CONSISTENT: BULLS

Does Bulls have a slogan? Not really. Instead it has the commitment to a terrible joke you usually don't find outside of Terry Pratchett novels.

There is something soothing about pulling into Bulls, buying an un-beat-a-bull doner kebab, staring up at a real estate sign that's been there for years ("a town like no udder"), then throwing away your trash in a "respon-si-bull" trash can. Does it make you want to live there? No. But it makes the visit a whole lot more fun.



MOST ACCURATE: ASHBURTON

I will do "whatever it takes" to get out of Ashburton.


MOST NINETIES: WELLINGTON

Wellington's Absolutely Positively Wellington branding is 25 this year, and boy does it feel it - watch the ad above for a taste of that era. Wellington's slogan works well in that it doesn't convey any real information other than "good". If it did attempt to wrap any of Wellington's actual strengths - government, movies, a fountain that doesn't really work - into its schema the slogan would probably end up even worse. See: Wellywood.



MOST 1890S: WAIROA

Wairoa is apparently "The Way NZ Used To Be". Something to boast about(?)

BEST SLOGAN: DUNEDIN

Dunedin, after years of enduring "I am Dunedin" and the much more fun "It's alright here," seems to have dropped the whole idea of a slogan altogether, instead branding the city as simply "dunedin" - but written in a gothic script so they look like a black metal band. In their brand story Dunedin notes the new logo is "irony-proof," and, well - they're not wrong. 

It kind of just works. The logo combines two competing strands of the city (it's edgy and youth focused, but also has a lot of pretty heritage architecture!) without shoving its meaning down your throat. 

Most importantly, it looks excellent as a Snapchat filter.

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