Could the slogan “Generation Aberdeen” become world famous, even one day rivalling New York’s iconic love heart design?
Branding boffins, who toiled over the catchphrase, say it has the potential to become “globally recognised”.
That claim has come under scrutiny, however.
When it was first brought to councillors for approval in May, it was almost laughed out of the chamber.
Bemused members said it reeked of “old people trying to be cool”.
Workshops took place behind closed doors in July, with the minds behind it explaining the rationale to puzzled councillors.
That was enough to convince the ruling SNP and Liberal Democrat administration, who yesterday signed off on the branding.
But others remain convinced it’s a bad idea…
Who was against the Generation Aberdeen slogan, and why?
Independent Lower Deeside councillor Marie Boulton might have more reason to care about the branding than many, as the former leader of the city centre masterplan projects.
She asked her colleagues to send the plans to the scrapheap.
Mrs Boulton said that when she recently asked one of the people behind the project to sum up the Generation Aberdeen slogan, she was given a “15-minute explanation”.
She added: “It should be obvious what it’s about. This doesn’t tell people what it is, it doesn’t fall off the tongue… It’s a bit of a nothing.”
“I just want what’s best for the city.”
Global recognition? Marketing expert councillor unconvinced
Labour’s Kate Blake told the chamber she has 25 years of experience in marketing as she stuck the boot in.
She said the idea that Generation Aberdeen would have “global recognition” as a slogan was “a very ambitious target”.
The Kingswells, Sheddocksley and Summerhill councillor questioned how this would be measured, as the slogan was compared to the likes of the Glasgow Smiles Better campaign.
This came as others brought up successful examples such as the “I Heart New York” logo or closer-to-home examples like Glasgow Smiles Better.
The ‘Glasgow Smiles Better’ logo appeared alongside The Queen at the official opening of the Burrell Museum in Pollok Country Park back in October 1983.
See more notable Scottish buildings opened by The Queen over the years: https://t.co/IDGOJrFxO1
— Historic Environment Scotland (@HistEnvScot) September 29, 2022
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What happened in the end?
The meeting later descended into an argument over Labour’s failure to attend the summer workshops on the slogan.
But finance convener Alex McLellan implored others to stop bickering and come to a decision.
He said: “We can’t keep delaying and deferring actual decision-making, we need to push on.”
Ultimately, the administration’s numbers advantage saw the plans passed.
That means it will now be used to form a website explaining the various masterplan strands, daubed on hoarding around construction projects and plastered on buses.
And see more on the gurus’ defence of their Generation Aberdeen slogan here.
They said: “The word ‘generation’ allows us in one fell swoop to encapsulate all the positive elements of the project, whilst simultaneously drawing in all age groups.”