SOURCE: TaglineGuru

September 20, 2005 11:03 ET

TaglineGuru Releases List of Top U.S. City Mottos and Monikers

Winners of Sloganville, USA Awards Also Announced; City Branding Honored for Charm, Humor, and Infamy

SAN MATEO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 20, 2005 -- Just because you're a small town doesn't mean you can't have a big slogan. Towns that play the branding game well are part of a growing trend of thriving hamlets and villages whose mottos and monikers are helping to market their appeal and put them squarely on the map.

So says TaglineGuru™ (, which today released its survey of the Top 50 U.S. City Slogans and Top 50 U.S. City Nicknames. It also announced the winners of the "Sloganville, USA Awards™," recognizing the most notable and notorious city slogans and sobriquets across the nation. For a list of award winners, go to

According to 100 leading branding, marketing, and advertising professionals, "What Happens Here, Stays Here" (Las Vegas) was ranked #1 out of 400 city slogans, followed by "So Very Virginia" (Charlottesville, VA); "Always Turned On" (Atlantic City, NJ); "Cleveland Rocks!"; and "The Sweetest Place on Earth" (Hershey, PA) .

The well-known moniker, "The Big Apple," was ranked #1 out of nearly 800 city nicknames, followed by "Sin City" (Las Vegas); "The Big Easy" (New Orleans); "Motor City" (Detroit); and "The Windy City" (Chicago).

Rankings were based on whether slogans and nicknames expressed a city's brand character and personality; told a story in a clever, original, and memorable way; and inspired others to visit there, move there, or learn more.

For a list of the 50 top-ranked slogans and 50 top-ranked nicknames, and the criteria and methodology used to select them, go to

According to Eric Swartz, president of TaglineGuru, "Rebranding your town with a memorable motto or moniker is the most cost-effective way to leverage your assets, increase your visibility, and build brand identity.

"For small towns, it means creating slogans that are unique and specific -- capitalizing on their history, values, and individual style. For big cities, rebranding means staying vibrant, contemporary, and inclusive," notes Swartz. "Think of it as a form of urban renewal -- without the need for a bond measure.

"When it comes to slogans, small towns have an easier sell. They're known for one thing, and everyone agrees what that is. Big cities, on the other hand, are complex and have many constituents," Swartz says.

The colorful Southwest accounts for 36 percent of the top-rated slogans in this study. Survey results also indicate that 52 percent of the top slogans are from towns with populations less than 25,000. In contrast, 58 percent of top nicknames are from cities with populations greater than 100,000.

On the whole, big cities have done a poor job of promoting their slogans. More than 80 percent of the Web sites of the 50 largest U.S. cities don't even mention their official mottos.

"That just goes to show how little thought most cities give to their own branding," Swartz says. "Without a strong brand identity, a slogan doesn't have much of a foundation to build on.

"All slogans have their detractors. That comes with the territory," Swartz says. "Coming up with an effective slogan or nickname for your city is an economic, cultural, and creative decision, and deserves more time and effort than a simple roll of the dice. Just ask Las Vegas. Their gamble paid off."

A division of The Byline Group (, TaglineGuru is dedicated exclusively to brand strategy and development. Its president, Eric Swartz, has created slogans, names, and other branding concepts for more than 80 organizations.

Contact Information

  • For more information about the survey and awards,
    Eric Swartz
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