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Atlanta’s “New Brand” Stinks

Great. That’s exactly what I want my city to be associated with. The gangsta rappers that coined the term “The A-T-L” in hip-hop shoot-em-up music. I am sure that business leaders worldwide are saying “OH – this A-T-L I hear about in the cop killing songs is Atlanta, Georgia. We should move our Global 1000 headquarters there.”
Ok. I realize that I am over-generalizing the scene. But it begs the question – why, as a city, are we hooking into the lexicon of a culture that features videos shot in the Atlanta city jail and using it to promote business and tourism? Is this just a veiled attempt to revive Freaknik? What happened to the class and charm of the south that I grew up in?
Ken Bernhardt of Georgia State University heads up the Brand Atlanta communication comittee. His take is that “ATL” should get people excited. I think it lacks imagination and creativity. If they wanted people to focus on the “3 Os” – opportunity, optimism, openness – they should have come up with something that remotely alluded to that. For me, the brand conjures up the 3 Is – incarceration, illegal immigration, and illiteracy.

“It’s simply an identifier,” Bernhardt said of ATL. “It’s not the airport and it’s not hip-hop. What ATL is supposed to elicit is the meaning of the brand, Atlanta, meaning ‘opportunity, optimism and openness.’ When you see the Coke bottle, you think Coke. It’s an identifier of the brand. ATL should elicit everything that you think about when you think about Atlanta, which hopefully in the future will mean the three O’s.”

>> Read More – Atlanta Business Chronicle – Atlanta to be Branded as ATL

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