The City of Buenos Aires has spearheaded an initiative to “brand” itself in an effort to boost tourism and streamline advertising. As a first step, the Economic and Social Council (CESBA) has recently given the go-ahead to pull together a project to be reviewed by the City legislature.
CESBA wrote in its draft, “The City brand is the concept and the way a city is perceived and wants to be recognized. It aims to promote and exercise the capabilities and competitive advantages of a city and position it internationally… It is key to attracting investment, promoting tourism, increasing the level of knowledge of our city abroad and creating citizenship.” One hopes they pass around the mate and trago loco at the review.
Branding a city is not a new concept: it dates back to New York City of 40 years ago when people were more likely to think of the city as a den of crime than “concrete jungle where dreams are made of.” That turned around in part because of the infamous I Love New York campaign, which still permeates the branding of the city today. Other successful campaigns include the IAmsterdam campaign, a sign I’m sure you all have taken photos in front of in various states of sobriety, and Vegas’s “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas,” which I’m sure you all posted on Facebook when you checked in for your flight to that bachelor party.
However Buenos Aires,
Good Airs Good Times™ Fernet & Fuckups™ Watch out for dog poo!™ (I’m still working on it), has its work cut out for it, as according to consulting firm k629, 86 percent of city branding campaigns are failures. Indeed, Buenos Aires’ only other attempt at branding came in the form of the orange and white BUE emblem that fell into disuse after 2007. The city’s other famous branding actually came from an advertisement not for the city but Coke Zero, which captured the reckless and blissful Porteño party spirit. I would say the ad is a glamorization of the city life after dusk, but I’ve just remembered my Friday night. Except for the rooftop pool in Centro, no one has that.
No word yet on potential logos or mottos but perhaps: Buenos Aires: the city that *actually* never sleeps, or maybe BA: where sharing is
caring mandatory, why aren’t you sharing; or maybe Baires: come for six weeks, stay forever.
Or maybe just steal it from Jorge Luis Borges himself, who referred to this town’s magnetism as “the mysterious habit of Buenos Aires.” A mysterious habit indeed, our city of the fury, the quilombo you just can’t forget.