Ottawa's new slogan: 'technically beautiful'

The city has a new marketing strategy and a new slogan. It's meant to attract tourists, and new businesses.

The new slogan is "Ottawa: technically beautiful."

Response to the slogan might be described as technically mixed, but experts think the slogan is trying to do too much.

"The main problem is they haven't really figured out which of the primary audiences they're going after," says Carl Barnard of Corporate Branding in New York. "They're trying to get the tourist audience and the capital audience, and you can't do everything with a tag line. Two words isn't going to say it all."

The Economic Development Corporation unveiled the plan on Monday. The corporation developed a working group to figure out how to brand and sell Ottawa to the world.

The group considered two main perspectives: the high-tech world and tourism.

A survey of more than 160 people interviewed around the world gave a glimpse of how the city is perceived. It suggested that Ottawa is known for its green space, quality of life, and burgeoning high-tech industry, but not for having a skilled work force or being easily accessible.

As a result, the task force developed what marketers call a "unique selling proposition" for the city.

"Ottawa is a global technology sector and a beautiful G8 capital that offers a rare mix of economic and academic opportunity, in tandem with cultural and recreational experiences," explains task force co-chair Ursula Thibideaux.

The task force hopes the slogan will be adopted by Ottawa's business community, especially the tourism sector, as a means to promote the city.

Leslie Miller, the president of the Ottawa Tourism and Convention Authority, says that everybody singing from the same song book when marketing Ottawa is "a big step for us to take."

And it's an expensive one. The task force spent $200,000 to develop the marketing strategy.

Related Link:Ottawa's Economic Development Corporation [Link will open in a new window.]