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Experience Regina, the tourism organization in Saskatchewan’s capital city of Regina is under fire for its new campaign that centered around the slogan “Show us your Regina.”
Their second slogan raised eyebrows too: “The city that rhymes with fun.”
Wait… “Regina” doesn’t rhyme with “fun’… Oooohhhh.
You see, there was a major overhauling of the city’s tourism board. Experience Regina is the rebranded and edgier version of the Canadian city’s tourism board.
The new name stemmed from a viral video that made the rounds in 2008, called “Experience Regina_.
(Apologies upfront if this pristine slice of 2008 Internet has you walking around singing “Reginaaaaaa; Experience Reginaaaaaa!” for the rest of the day.)
With new branding in place, Experience Regina had a job to do: get people to the city. Coming up with slogans was at the top of their to-do list. That’s important for cities that aren’t always top of mind for tourists.
They needed something to get attention. The promise of afternoon tea at the Hotel Saskatchewan or a Roughriders game isn’t enough to get people to give up Disney World or Europe in favor of Regina. They wanted to show the rest of Canada as well as the world that this isn’t your granddad’s Regina.
Thus, “Shows us your Regina” and “The city that rhymes with fun” were born.
Those slogans quickly faced near-universal criticism.
People Slammed The Slogans For Sexualizing Regina
People were irate that the tourism board would quote “sexualize” the city.
Kristen McLeod, a former member of the previous iteration of the tourism board, wrote a scathing letter to the city’s mayor in which she said, “It’s sexualizing the city when it isn’t necessary.”
The CBC reported that McLeod said it was the first time in 50 years that she hasn’t felt welcome in Regina. She went a little overboard there, but the point is, people weren’t thrilled with the slogan.
As you were probably able to guess, Experience Regina’s CEO released an apology for the city’s edgy new slogans.
Regina doesn’t rhyme with “fun” anymore, but it does rhyme with “groveling apology.”
“I want to start by apologizing, on behalf of myself and our team, for the negative impact we created with elements of our recent brand launch,” Reid wrote on social media.
“It was clear that we fell short of what is expected from our amazing community with some slogans that we used.”
The city’s mayor is expected to talk about the slogans after the city council meeting on Wednesday.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle