Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Wooing New Yorkers with tales of Edmonton

So I was just on the New York Times website reading about that big storm in Denver (it's a very slow day at work — I've been here for three and a half hours and have written one headline), when an ad at the top of the page caught my eye. At first, I thought there must be some mistake. "This computer knows I'm from Edmonton, and so it's directing Edmonton-related advertising my way," I thought. Then I remembered that computers can't read your mind.

In fact, the City of Edmonton (which so many of you are enjoying right now, and which I miss more than my dead cat) is advertising to New Yorkers, hoping to lure them away from their boring city with fascinating facts like:

• Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta!
• The Edmonton region has a population of about 1 million people!
• Edmonton holds more than 30 cultural festivals every summer!
• The Edmonton region has 85 billion dollars in investment planned or underway!

Now, if promises of a provincial seat of government, a population of 1 million, cultural festivals (only in the summer, though) and oil money doesn't attract New Yorkers, I can't imagine what will. After all, New York is nothing if not a small, poor, cultureless, political wasteland of a city.

Unfortunately, the campaign's name ("re-ED-ucate yourself") and use of the horribly outdated Edmonton logo make the city look like some pathetic rural ghost town desperately trying to attract visitors with its promises of "low prices" and "peace and quiet." Plus, their website, which they encourage you to visit, looks like it was designed by, well, someone from Edmonton's city council: http://www.edmontoneducates.com/edmontoneducates/myweb.php?hls=10081

If the city really wants to attract real-life New Yorkers with their "American dollars" and their "ballet," they should be advertising their severe labour shortages. Now that's what Americans want to hear!


Blogger Ladysir said...

Interesting. I'd noticed some posters for this campaign up around Queen's Quay earlier this fall. Aren't Edmonton's insecurities darling? I am, however, a little fascinated by how they're so dedicated to comparing themselves to New York all the time. (Check the website's "DID YOU KNOW?" section for examples.) Couldn't they pick an image that's at least half-way attainable. Say, Winnipeg? Or at least a little less insulting to New Yorkers?

(Some facts from the website that have enriched my understanding of this underappreciated city. I couldn't resist.)

Did you know:

**"Located on 25 hectares, the Edmonton Composting Facility is the largest of its kind in North America by volume and size.

**Edmonton has one of the largest concentrations of uninfected American elms in the world.

**Edmonton has one of the lowest population densities of any North American City about 67 times less than the population density of New York City!"

10:31 AM


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