“Left of Center, Right at Home”

Fun, fun! The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership is searching for a marketing slogan to attract business to Franklin Street. According to the N&O today businessman Lex Alexander likes “Left of Center, Right at Home”. Other members aren't so sure about this slogan. They want Alexander to go back to his Durham marketing firm and try again.

I think the Partnership needs some local input. Surely, we can help them out. Any suggestions for a catchy slogan?

Businessman Lex Alexander introduced the motto to fellow board members Wednesday after a recent brainstorming session with a Durham marketing firm.

They stared at him, wide-eyed and silent. Developer Tom Tucker managed a short "Uh... ." Other board members laughed nervously.

Alexander said the slogan meets at least one of the board's goals: It gets attention. "To me it says that we're eccentric, but it's a friendly place," he said.

Other choices included "A True Original" and "An Authentic Village," neither of which quite captures the spirit of a town whose council passed resolutions calling for an end to the Iraq war. Another option, "What's Your Pleasure," may leave a little too much to the imagination.

The board asked Alexander to work with the marketing firm some more.

But member Roger Perry, his face red from laughing, said the proposed slogan can't hurt a town whose politics are already well known. "It will bring us great ridicule throughout the state," he said, "which we already have."
- N&O: Chapel Hill resembles that remark, 2/23/06



Well, on another thread I remember suggesting to Frank M. that we might want to hang a sign on 15/501: "Welcome to Chapel Hill! We're elitist and we like it that way!"

How about "Chapel Hill - Sample Heaven Before You Go"

That's not so bad, George. (It's cheesy, but all sales slogans are.)

"Downtown Where Good Things are Born and Bred"

I like it -- it does match what the state thinks of us, the
People's Republic of Chapel Hill. Whenever I would attend
a meeting that involved a large number of elected officials
from elsewhere, either within NC or not, they often expressed
exactly what the slogan says.

It would probably stretch too far to change the town seal
from Athena (VerKerk: Betty Crocker) or the UNC ram
to a red star, though.

Mark, please consider "Devant La Tour Eiffel" for Carrboro.

"All the tee shirts and pizza anyone could want."

How about "No Parking Zone"

Don't forget Burritos!

A Bit of Blue Heaven

"Chapel Hill - We're Right! (Compared to Carrboro)"

"Chapel Hill---keeping the help nice and invisible..."

"Chapel Hill, drink the beast with me" (Nice ring, huh, Gilbert?)

I gotta say, Mary, THAT on a sign outside of town makes me want to proceed. Which, in turn, may make others flee. But I digress.....

I love Lex's slogan and I wish him luck.But I don't have much hope. Anything that most people in Chapel Hill will agree on will be

1. boring as bread
2. guaranteed to fall into the dustbin of meaningless drivel

> “Downtown Where Good Things are Born and Bred”

Fred, I wonder what would happen to downtown's image were people to take this literally.

Anita -

Why not an even simpler version - straight from songwriter Walter Donaldson -

"My Blue Heaven."

"Chapel Hill-Keep Your Firearms, Check Your Leafblower"

steve, I like that, I was sort of playing on the red state blue state thing---we're a blue spot in a red state.......guess it's a bit obscure!

Left of center, and sometimes right about it.


Anita, remember, the blue state red state thing changes based on the political situation. We could be a blue state in the future!

Anita -

"...a blue spot in a red state..."

Ah, now I get it. I like that.

> We could be a blue state in the future!

God willing.

As much fun as it might be to throw out a slew of alternative jingles and slogans, am I the only person besides Lex, Joe, James, and Sally G. who actually likes the idea? I grew up in a town which would probably be just as happy implementing "right of center, cuz the hippies left," and as "offended" as I might pretend to be by an ideological motto, it actually does what such a thing is supposed to do. It grabs my attention, and if such a thing is successful in grabbing the attention of businesses to locate locally, then so be it. I'm sure a long and expensive market research study will be conducted which will ultimately neither confirm nor deny my suspicion. :)

Isn't it a bit hypocritical to rely on a historically liberal culture as a marketing ploy when liberals should hopefully believe people should spend their money locally? :)

I just remember groaning every time I saw "Life in the Past Lane" on the lamp posts at Meadowmont. This slogan may not be so widely disseminated, but remember the "simple" act of associating a slogan with a town can come off seeming awful disingenuous.

"Left of Center, often Right."

I like the folksy-ness of "Right of Home," and I like the play on words, and I like the relevance of the expression to Chapel Hill. But I don't get the connection to downtown per se, and I don't really see how it will help to attract people there. But, with some tweaking, it could work.

The bigger question is who the audience is. If this is part of an effort to get local folks downtown, this tagline isn't gonna do it.

"Chapel Hill - Where Progress & Leafblowers Are a Thing of the Past"

"Chapel Hill - Wifi, free parking, clean bathrooms, drinking fountains and a fun place for the kids to play!"

Hmmm....too traditional?

I didn't like it at first (since I don't think Chapel Hill is really as liberal as it's residents would like to think) but "Left of Center, Right at Home" is sort of growing on me. But I don't get what it has to do with downtown.

As slogans go, I like it a lot and wish they hadn't sent Lex back to dumb it down.

We've all seen the sign on the way to the beach, "Welcome to LaGrange, Gateway to the Future."

Mark K, you're right about the burritos. That's a 50% increase in the reasons to visit our town. Dude, you so belong on the council!

OK, I have a few more.

The best defense is a good offense...
"Chapel Hill: where the homeless are people, too."

"Chapel Hill: if towed, call 555-1234."

Maybe not a good slogan, but a good sign for Franklin Street...
"If Carolina beats Duke, do not park car upside down."

In our home we like to say " Chapel Hill, walking distance to Carrboro"

How about

Chapel Hill
On the Left, and Right at Home

(I'd like royalties for that, please!)

It still doesn't mean anything for downtown, though.

You're right, Joan, it doesn't promote downtown business.

Meanwhile, Carrboro.com (Jackie Helvey) has sloganized Carrboro as "a little to the left" since 1997.

Geez! After the Orange County "You'll be a fan for life" signs, which of course compel me to pull over (I hate puking in my car) I thought this would never resurface. Since it has, here are my suggestions:

Welcome to Chapel Hell

All Volvos must exit

Snappy, eh?

Have any of the wunderkinds in the economic development world studied how many people visit a town because of a slogan? And then subtracted those that will stay away?

I say ditch the hunt for a dumbed down slogan and concentrate on making Chapel Hill a unique and creative place to be.

10-4 Mark. Run the marketing types back to RTP, I say! Slogan over there for crying out loud!

My favorite so far: “Chapel Hill: if towed, call 555-1234.” Let's make sure the number is for the Downtown Partnership...

Whatever happened to "Chapel Hill, a city on the rise" ?

"Chapel Hill, looking down on ya'll"

If nothing else, this thread points out the absurdity of a slogan as a solution to complex (and not well-articulated) problems.

Consistent with my commentaries elsewhere on vapid sloganeering,---who can forget the soaring and inspiring, 'You Count in Orange County': Just brings a tear to the eye, yes?---Ahem. How about, 'Unleashing the Potential of the Overprivileged and Underbred.' Truth in advertising?

Chapel Hill: My Other Car Is A Prius.

The Downtown Partnership has nothing to do with whether your car is towed or not---in fact I would think they find some of this zealous towing detrimental to downtown.

Eric wins the contest!

Just a thought--but--
Haven't many of us complained because improtant issues got reduced to sound bytes last election? Isn't this more of the same?

And I've always heard it was the People's Republic of Carrboro...


I think the motto "City of Tobacco" has recently been freed up.

"Motto? We don' need no stinkin' mottos."

"Chapel Hill - Head west for the real fun"



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