Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The 25 Million Dollar Question: Freedom to, uh...fumble?



The gentleman attempting to answer Dr. Swann's question is Lindsay Blackett, the Minister for Culture and Community Spirit. I love how his fellow Tory MLAs have to shout the answer out for him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a lot going on in this little clip that shows perhaps $25 million just went down the drain. However, as an outsider, I may not have the whole picture.

For example, this was the first that I have ever heard this slogan. Maybe it's new. Rgardless, the hapless Minister goofs the slogan, and I ended up Googling to find out more.

The proper slogan is "Freedom to create. Spirit to achieve". To me, that's a pretty decent slogan, although it sounds like it was cooked up in Madison Avenue rather than in the hearts and minds of the population. It's rather generic and says nothing in particular about Albertans or their unique culture.

The Minister seems to say, "Freedom to create the spirit to achieve." Adding that one little word throws the slogan into passive voice, which would make it sound weak.

Of course, it doesn't help that the fellow can't remember his own slogan without prompting, but then public question-and-answer requires a lot of wit and attention. I get flustered when someone asks me my home phone number, and I have that memorized down cold for years. I don't think Dr. Swann would have asked his question without first guaging how the response would probably come out.

Googling the slogan leads me to the Alberta Brand website. Instead of hot iron used for livestock identification, the Alberta Brand is a very slick website indeed, a really beautiful job. I can't say much for the written content, as it seems like just more political rhetoric, but the layout looks very inviting and colourful.

This one line in the site, "Our brand isn't what we say about ourselves, it's what the world says about us." is very slick indeed. It actually reverses the accepted definition of branding in an effort to make this initiative seem more progressive than it is. It seems to me not so much of a lie as an untruth. The world does not seem to be talking about Alberta as much as the Albertan politicians are talking about themselves, case in point being this video and the branding website.

Hopefully the remainder of the $25 million will show up as money well spent.