Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Those fish and chips are starting to look more tasty

It was fun for a couple of days to make fun of the Ulster Unionists and their new slogan, Simply British, and one of the accompanying symbols, a plate of fish and chips. But leave it to Dublin to step up to the plate with a slogan and logo that appears on the surface -- like the Celtic Tiger itself -- to be slick and sophisticated, and yet ultimately turns out to be even more laughable than David Trimble's fish supper. Because the quasi-official Dublin City Business Association has settled on a logo and slogan to be all used in all efforts to market the city: the logo will show the word Dublin written in a wavy type, with an unusual elongated 'L' representing the city's recently finished spire; the accompanying slogan is Dublin -- Make the City Yours.

Now, the Irish Times journalist who wrote the story seems to have wisely decided to make clear how much of his story was spin, as in passages like this:

And if the Dublin City Business Association is to be believed, the logo and accompanying slogan will do for Dublin something like the iconic "I Love NY" did for New York in 1975.

The NY design is credited with beginning a fightback against the city's then image of being crime-ridden, dirty, and hostile to visitors.

We think that iconic is meant to be ironic, because New York in 1975 was still heading into budget crises, power cuts, the crack cocaine epidemic, and rampant crime, just to name a few. So if Dublin's boosters are selling this as the right analogy for their slogan, they might want to think again.

But that's only the half of it. Even when one knows that the logo is based on the spire, one still looks at the logo and wonders: what's that line doing between the syllables "dub" and "in?" And as for Make the City Yours? Do Dublin's corrupt developers and gangland criminals need any further encouragement?