August 5, 2011

Come to Rhode Island... Just Not for Long

Justin Katz

I hate to be so negative... I really do... but isn't it just too perfectly Rhode Island that the geniuses guiding the state would come up with this as an advertising slogan:

The judges like Team 5's idea about unpacking Rhode Island. But they choose another slogan and marketing plan for the winner: "Rhode Island: It's so small you can do it all."

"Every school kid knows one thing about Rhode Island — it's small. So we asked, what's good about being small?" said winning team member Alec Beckett, a creative partner with NAIL Communications.

So small I can do it all? You mean, like in a long weekend? How much can there be to do in the state if I can do it all in a single vacation?

Maybe "Rhode Island: It's all within reach," or something. That way ads can refer to proximity without implying limits on activities. They can also play on the words to imply cost savings over trips to locations farther away.

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Justin, also implied in your negativity is that they wouldn't come back. It would be good to be able to "do it all" in one vacation, but then they like it so much that they come back and "do it all" again.

I don't think it's the best slogan, but I think it's good that they try to do something instead of nothing.

Once people get here, they love things like Waterfire atmosphere, the beaches, Thames, Federal Hill, Thayer St, ease of the airport, Block Island, etc. Maybe they'll love it so much they'll want to come back again or buy vacation property. I think we know that if you really are going to see all there is to do in RI, you can't do it in a long weekend. One very busy week maybe, but not in just 3-4 days.

Posted by: Patrick at August 5, 2011 2:16 PM

Rhode Island - Burning Tax Collectors Ships to the Waterline for 2 1/2 centuries

There's your historical one right there...

Posted by: chuckr at August 5, 2011 4:45 PM

Rhode Island - Our RoundHeel Politicians Are Still for Sale Cheap

Too long for a license plate

Posted by: chuckr at August 5, 2011 4:47 PM

Rhode Island - All men are equal, but some men are more equal than others.

Posted by: Dan at August 5, 2011 6:05 PM

Welcome to Rhode Island
Look on our works, ye mighty, and despair.

Posted by: Dan at August 5, 2011 6:12 PM

Rhode Island-
Where you can work for 20
and collect for 40!

Posted by: bob at August 5, 2011 7:11 PM


It seems to me not only that "small, do it all" does not inherently imply "you'll come back again," but also that, if both are true, the latter is more important. A great many tourist destinations are smaller than RI, because they're cities or resorts, not states.

I guess the question is whom the market is. "Small, do it all" seems to me to appeal to the person intent on trying all sorts of things in all sorts of locations, not the person looking to find a regular vacation spot.

Posted by: Justin Katz at August 5, 2011 8:06 PM

" Maybe they'll love it so much they'll want to come back again or buy vacation property. "

Drive around Newport, or Little Compton and look for an RI license plate.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at August 5, 2011 8:34 PM

Back in the 70's Boston ran a summer long contest to suggest a slogan for Boston. After much hoopla, the suggestion of a city hall secretary was accepted "Bright from the start". A large celebration was had, then it was never heard of again.

I just Googled it, it appears that an early education agency in Georgia has adopted it.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at August 5, 2011 8:38 PM

I was just thinking about my comment above. I wonder if a PR agency "got a contract"?

Posted by: Warrington Faust at August 5, 2011 8:40 PM

"unions + democrats = taxes + corruption"

Balance the equation

Posted by: Tom at August 7, 2011 9:08 AM

Justin, thanks for the coverage. As a member of the group that came up with this, I'd just like to point out that it's not just a slogan but rather part of an out-of-state ad campaign that features two pictures of RI tourist destinations with a mileage marker between them.

For example, a photo of the PawSox and the P-Bruins would be separated with "4.5 miles" and underneath: "Rhode Island: So Small You Can Do It All," the idea being to reinforce to visitors that they can get a lot done in a visit with little driving - something that no other state can truly lay claim to.

None of this is taxpayer supported, btw - we're just trying to get tourism publishers to contribute free ad space so this state can attract more visitors - currently, each Rhode Islander pays $1,350 less in taxes each year due to the tax revenue that tourism generates.

So far, Yankee Magazine has donated two half-page ads and Providence Monthly's tourism magazine has contributed four quarter-page strips.

More to come...

Posted by: BK at August 21, 2011 10:10 AM
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