Nebraska. Honestly, It’s Not For Everyone.

Nebraska Tourism Campaign Cuts To The Quick

Let’s face it, the whole point behind a good slogan is to get your product or service noticed. In the tourism industry, it can be a tough job trying to attract visitors to your area with so much competition out there vying for the same vacation revenue.

That’s why it is so important to be different in order to stand out from the pack.

The state of Nebraska already has a lot going for it but the Nebraska Tourism Commission needed that one extra item to push tourists into seeking their fun times there instead of some other tropical paradise.

So they did what seems to be a bit of a trend today in advertising. They took a well-aimed shot at themselves through self-deprecation. Hey, it works on so many different levels and I’ll get to that shortly.

The new tourism slogan that is meant to get your attention simply states:

Nebraska. Honestly, It’s Not For Everyone.

Ouch! That has got to sting a little bit but the reason for such a jab to the state comes from hard data. In fact, Nebraska Tourism Director John Ricks made it very clear when the new slogan was recently unveiled. He says that Nebraska consistently ranks low – often in last place – of states tourists plan to visit.

That is what sparked the plan to more or less shake things up to get your attention.

It’s not easy turning a negative into a positive but when it is done right, it pays many dividends. Plus, as I’ve hinted at, it works in many different ways.


For example, if the self-deprecating line is funny, it gets your attention. If it also happens to contain a bit of information that piques your interest, it serves as an educational tool. If the images that accompany the tongue-in-cheek statement are carefully chosen, they may push your venue onto a ‘must-see’ list it never was on before.

Examples from this particular campaign, created by Vladimir Jones of the Denver agency include the following:

Hikers pictured on rock formations found in Toadstool Geologic Park with this statement…”Famous for our flat, boring landscape.”


Other phrases like “Lucky for you, there’s nothing to do here” and “Another day on the dusty plains” are featured with photos that are anything but dull, dusty or boring.


The approach is funny if you get the joke. That is why this type of marketing has to be skillfully executed in order to get the point across that there is something more to what you may already think about Nebraska or whatever the intended target happens to be.

I have to admit that while I love this kind of positive spin from a negative and how funny it can be, there are times when it fails miserably. Self-deprecating comments can be mistaken as insults to some people who view them as far more low-brow than they are meant to be. As for a tourism marketing campaign, I think this kind of approach works well.

Will it make me want to actually visit Nebraska? That depends on whether or not I get swept up in Kansas or make a wrong turn in South Dakota.

In other words, maybe.