Smashing Milwaukee's stereotypes, part one
As for Milwaukee, we've seen "Great Place on the Great Lake" and "Genuine American" get kicked to the curb after neither ever really gained momentum. Fact is, slogans don't sell unless they have massive amounts of money or huge promotional efforts (see massive amounts of money) behind them.
Milwaukee's current image campaign skips the slogan entirely. In fact, many city slogans seem pointless, forgettable and do little to attract new business or visitors. Case in point, how many cities use "Rich Past, Vibrant Future" or "Moving forward?" Lame.
According to Visit Milwaukee's David Fantle, it's all about a city's marquee building. "In our own 'scientific' research we quickly discovered that people rarely identify a slogan with a city. That's not the case with symbols or landmarks," says Fantle.
"When you see the Empire State Building you immediately think New York City. Same can be said with the Golden Gate Bridge -- San Francisco. Not only are we skipping the slogan, but the Milwaukee campaign, incorporating our own architectural landmark, the Santiago Calatrava-designed addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum, is being used to attract tourists, workers, businesses and students to the city," Fantle says.
"Milwaukee is making the leap by securing total community-wide support for our symbol, but leaving behind any attempt to roll out some tired new slogan," says Dean Amhaus, president of Spirit of Milwaukee.
Milwaukee is Fat City
Milwaukee is always accused of being a city full of fatties, and it's no wonder, thanks to businesses with names like Fat Daddy's, Fat Boy Roadhouse and Bella's Fat Cat.
Sure, we like our beer and brats, but the belief that we're porkier than other parts of the planet is a pile of beans. Earlier this year, in fact, Men's Health Magazine declared Milwaukee the fifth most fit city in the country -- and Chicago as the place with the pudgiest people of all!
Granted, the magazine used different factors this year to rank their list; no longer were tallies based on poundage alone, rather the magazine took into account weather, availability of bike trails and lanes, and the use of exercise gyms into their factoring. Hence, Milwaukee is not the piggy city it was, and still is, believed to be.
Now, if someone would just tell Homer Simpson this -- who after getting Springfield into the record book as the world's fattest city yelled, "In your face, Milwaukee!"
Milwaukee is a bowling mecca
Everyone knows that Milwaukeeans like to bowl, but kegling isn't as popular in Brew City as you might believe.
"Yes, Milwaukee remains a big bowling town, although like all other big cities, not as big as it used to be," says Mark Miller from the United States Bowling Congress.
Miller says Milwaukee County has 38 bowling centers with 668 lanes, but that's down about 30 alleys from its peak 30 years ago.
"But this is a trend that's happened nationwide due to real estate and other societal factors, and not because of a decline in bowling," says Miller.
Perhaps the other reason Milwaukee is perceived as a bowling city is because the USBC is based in Greendale. Formerly housing the American Bowling Congress, the national headquarters for the governing body of the sport has been in its present location across from Southridge Mall since 1972.
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China said: As a foreigner and a ten-year resident at Wisconsin, I really enjoyed in reading this article. It made me laugh and think differently about Milwaukee now. I think the city did change a lot of its image recently. Somehow, I still like to see Milwaukee to be associate with Beer. To me, beer has bring up a hospitality feeling.
brad said: hey whats up... just read your article--every state has a stereotype and they stereotype every other state. if you don't like the the typical Wisconsin stereotype...then move.
Antek said: Im lovin deez Milwaukee stereotype's dont you know. Polka music,tail-gate parties,bratwusrt,"gimme a cole beer here!" It's how I like to envision Milwaukee. These are Good stereotype's to have there eh.
RE-Cozen said: Funny this is the first time I have actually posted. I usually read your "Arguments." Believe me you have nothing, on anything. Have a nice sad, sorry life.
Cozen Beguile said: RE- I still don't get it? I bring the the facts for a debate. Not insults, unless I'm insulted first. You are the one that posts more than me. All you ever do is attack peoples opinions. Ever notice how you never have a real comment about a topic? I guess you can say, I have what you want. ;) That is more than enough for me. LOL! PEACE!
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