It’s been a while since I’ve taken a university to task for an idiotic slogan, and by sharing these two stories from the Independent Florida Alligator, I don’t have to. They do a fabulous job of skewering their school for some first-class lameness in branding.
First, an editorial from Thursday:
After paying a firm $85,000 to come up with the motto "an unparalleled university experience that lasts a lifetime," administrators chose to scrap it all and replace it with "the foundation for The Gator Nation."
We couldn’t make something like this up. It sounds like a line from a "Sesame Street" song.
We thought college was about education. Apparently, UF officials would rather market us as Disney World. It’s no mistake that our vice president of University Relations is a former Disney employee.
The next day, Matt Sanchez piled on with this column. Rock on Matt.
After only a six-month run, "An unparalleled university experience that lasts a lifetime" still has some fight left in it – except that everyone now is hip to the fact it doesn’t actually mean anything.
Or there’s always the old standby "Gator football…you pretty much have to."
…So maybe the old slogans were retired for a reason. It’s hard to imagine a revival of the original, from back in the days when UF and FSU were the only choices: "UF: Because you don’t want to go to the all-girls school, do you?"
…Maybe we should try being honest – play to our strengths while not turning people off by sugarcoating things.
In that vein, my personal recommendation is "UF: Cheap and good. Plus you get to beat on the ‘Noles."
After all, that’s pretty much the answer the average UF student would give for why they came here anyway.
Incidentally, I don’t see a single slogan on the school’s home page. Go figure.
Thanks for sharing this story. Are there any examples of other companies (not just schools) that allowed one aspect of their “business” to influence the entire slogan?