Perplexed Rhode Islanders Ridicule State's New 'Cooler and Warmer' Slogan
KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:
This was supposed to be a big week for Rhode Island. It unveiled its new tourism logo. Wait for it...
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Cooler and warmer.
MCEVERS: Yeah, that's it - cooler and warmer.
CORNISH: OK, yeah.
KAREN ROSSI: I didn't get it and, actually, I found out afterwards that a lot of people didn't get it.
CORNISH: Karen Rossi is a real estate agent from Barrington, R.I. That kind of reaction quickly led to jokes.
MCEVERS: Look for the hashtag Better R.I. Slogans on Twitter and you will find...
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Rhode Island, 3 percent bigger at low tide.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Rhode Island, potholes and Dunkin' Donuts.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Rhode Island, where strip clubs go to underachieve.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: Rhode Island, making fun of ourselves since 1636.
CORNISH: The big marketing rollout also included a promotional video and a new tourism website.
MCEVERS: The video included a lovely shot of a skateboarder in front of Harpa concert hall, which is in Iceland.
CORNISH: And the new website said Rhode Island, the smallest state in the union, had 20 percent of the country's landmarks, which is false.
MCEVERS: And two restaurants that had been listed on the site's database were no longer open for business.
CORNISH: As we heard in our dramatic reading of tweets, Rhode Islanders can laugh about all of this. But they don't find the $5 million price tag for this campaign very funny. Music blogger Daniel Sullivan (ph) lives in Providence.
DANIEL SULLIVAN: Right now Rhode Island is struggling. Financially, there's no jobs, you know? Our roads are falling apart. And just the expense of a tourism campaign and the dollar amount that was spent hits people in the face when you can't drive down the road without hitting two potholes.
MCEVERS: We reached the state tourism office and they told us there have been mistakes but that it's great that the public is so engaged.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.