Creative response to miserable publicity
A few weeks ago, Forbes named Rockford, Illinois the 3rd Most Miserable City in the United States. Chicago came in a close 4th.
Some very creative local marketing pros quickly responded. Within days they turned the unflattering notoriety into a tourism campaign promoting many things Forbes‘ formula didn’t take into consideration:
The campaign has sparked a lot of local discussions. Naysayers say it’s a shallow attempt to gloss over the very real problems Rockford faces. Area cheerleaders argue that it showcases the area’s best features.
The truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Like many cities, Rockford was hard hit by the Recession. Poverty is high, crime is worse than ever, and property taxes have gone up as property values have gone down. Yet all of those negatives don’t mean there aren’t good things, too. To me, this is an ad campaign designed to highlight positive things that actually exist in a city still struggling with many serious issues.
I also see it as a really creative response to harsh criticism. What are some memorable ways you’ve seen people, organizations or cities deal with negative press?