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Incrediburgh: New appalling slogan for Edinburgh

Rooftops of EdinburghMarketing Edinburgh, the company established to promote the Scottish capital, has been criticised by civic leaders after revealing several “twee” and “appalling” slogans. The company was given about £300,000 to come up with a dynamic image and global branding for the city, but all of its ideas have been rejected. Some of these include taglining the city “Incredinburgh”, “Grabyoursledinburgh”, “Wellfedinburgh”, Romanceisnotdedinburgh” and “Paintthetownredinburgh”.

Without any enthusiasm behind these ideas, Marketing Edinburgh will be rethinking its approach. The political and business communities have long sought a catchy logo to help transform the image of Edinburgh. After the launch of “Glasgow’s Miles Better” campaign in 1983, this has been considered the standard for a Scottish city. The campaign won international awards and focused on Glasgow’s cultural treasures, softening the city’s hard-boiled image.

Now the rebranding for Edinburgh has been put on hold. Marketing Edinburgh is expected to launch a campaign in the next two weeks. Instead of a full-year campaign, it will reveal one for just the winter – using the “Winterinedinburgh” slogan to highlight the festive period and the tagline “Goaheadinburgh” to attract tourists and shoppers. The changes have been made after Edinburgh City Council leader Andrew Burns and deputy Steve Cardownie said their initial fears about the “Incredinburgh” slogan were ignored by Marketing Edinburgh.

Cardownie says chief executive Lucy Bird and a Leith Agency representative (an advertising firm) gave them a presentation a few months ago, when they both made clear that the slogan wasn’t going to cut it. They didn’t believe it fit with the image they wanted to project. This was a case of sticking part of the name Edinburgh into a slogan, which didn’t work.

A second presentation, Cardownie added, simply rehashed the “Incredinburgh” slogan. Bird made it clear to them that this would be the centre of the campaign and didn’t even take anything they said into consideration. He doesn’t know what process Marketing Edinburgh went through, but nobody that he’s talked to likes the ideas they have put forward.

Conservative group leader Cameron Rose said that some of the taglines were a little “twee”. Hearing “Incredinburgh” just doesn’t fit the bill, though some may grow on them. Former Liberal Democrat council leader Jenny Dawe added that these ideas are “appalling”, as silly slogans aren’t needed to market the capital. They don’t sound worth using and make her shudder.

A source in the council said that the politicians don’t think the proposed campaign met expectations, and a lot of friction ensued. The council insists the campaign should only be used for the winter, while other taglines should be tested. Scottish Green group convener Steve Burgess says that the group hasn’t been persuaded that the campaign lives up to the money it spent, as the capital speaks for itself.

However, Bird says that they have collaborated with several city partners over the last few months to develop a lively and dynamic new campaign for the Scottish capital. There’s a lot of discussion and planning involved in such a project, and they welcome feedback. A spokesperson for the council added that ideas evolve during talks between partner organisations, which happens in all marketing campaigns. They look forward to launching a new campaign this winter.

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