Submitted by Jeff Buster on Sun, 01/06/2008 - 14:33.

Carl Pope told  his audience at Levin College that today's branding strategies no longer involve an image (like the Coke logo/bottle or the Mercedes three point star) - branding today is just a phrase.

Above are images of two popular branding campaigns being promoted around Greater Cleveland, Ohio this fall and winter.   Actually, HEK has been campaigning a little longer, as Norm Roulet comments here on REALNEO.

Which, if either, branding campaign do you find effective?

Which of the messages is more truthful?


Are either of the messages complete spin?


Is one message more sinister than the other?


Does either message have humor?


Which message is more dangerous in our civic space?


Is either message trying to hide the truth?

Which message costs the taxpayers of Cuyahoga County more:

"HEK" or Cleveland+?

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These are all very good questions.  I caught a bit of Ideastream yesterday and the "expert" noted that branding affects consumer decision making.  Exclusivity and elitism is an important component of product labeling.  The expert used this experiment to illustrate his point: Toblerone chocolate and ordinary chocolate (Hershey's?) were melted down and presented to tasters in a blind test.  The tasters preferred the ordinary chocolate.  The fancy chocolate was deemed poor tasting...This is how I feel when people "taste" my neighborhood based on our labeling.  Not good enough, when in fact, we are quite good.