Online opinion on Baltimore's new slogan has been pervasive and harsh.
Bloggers seem to be having a hard time getting in on it.
Reaction has ranged from outrage over the $500,000 price tag to confusion over the meaning. And while no one slogan could be expected to satisfy everyone in the city, "Get in on it" doesn't seem to satisfy anyone at first blush. For some, it gave an opportunity to lambaste the city, listing problems no slogan, no matter how clever or popular, could affect.
"Sloganeering for a dying city, where industry and commerce are fleeing to the suburbs and to the higher-rent DC metro area? Half a million dollars for this?" asks Bruce Godfrey at Crablaw. com.
"It doesn't matter how you paint a pig, a pig it remains. Poor transit, drug addiction, severe taxes encouraging investment in the suburban ring. `Get in on it' will not affect any of these problems," Godfrey writes.
Jen at livinginthebigtime.blog spot.com expresses similar sentiments: "`Get in on it.' That's the kind of slogan that half a million dollars in consulting gets you. Get in on it. Get in on what? A drug deal?"
A reader of her site suggested a few alternatives: "I'll start the inevitable transmogrifications that happen to all the city taglines, i.e. `the city the breeds,' etc.: `Get high on sh - -.' `Get down on it.' `Get sin and grit.' `Get on, dimwit.'"
But others simply thought the city didn't get its money's worth.
"Baltimore did it again," writes Mdpoliticsnow.com. "Baltimore spent $500,000 finding a new slogan. Elementary school kids could've come up with this slogan for free. Some other ideas: `Be Credulous' `Postulate' `Reckon On' `Getting On' Special thanks to www.thesarus.com for providing us with several free alternatives in ten seconds of clicking."
William Lozito at namedevelop ment.com, a brand development blog, writes: "The obvious question, `Is a slogan worth $500,000?' is like asking, `Is that house worth $500,000?' For the latter, if someone buys the house, the answer is yes. For the former, I bet `Get In On It' will leave many Baltimore residents scratching their heads."
Whisperbrand.com, another brand development blog, suggests that "Get in on it" is too generic.
"`Get In On It' could just as easily be used for most any American or international city; Get In On It - Norfolk, Get In On It - Budapest, Get In On It - Moscow. And because the phrase is so easily transferable, it is worthless as a branding tool needed to set Baltimore apart from ANY other tourism destination," the site states.
Josh Lukin at justadorange.blog spot.com puts it more succinctly: "What does it have to do with Baltimore in 2006? Look for a new slogan in 2008."
Mike at Sideofgravy.com thinks the slogan fits better than some people think.
"Our city is full of questionable transactions and shady dealings of all shapes and sizes," he writes. "We're using that as our selling point and sending a nod-and-a-wink invitation to the rest of the country. It's a hell of a lot more honest than `The Greatest City in America.'"
Al Shipley at narrowcast.blog spot.com suggests that the city will have a hard time shaking other, unofficial, slogans: "I think city hall's gonna have to live with the fact that no upbeat catchphrase they come up with is gonna be as pervasive a t-shirt slogan as "Stop Snitchin'."
It's a tough crowd out there.
Listen to Troy McCullough's podcasts at baltimoresun.com/onblogs.