Welcome To Cape, The City of a Thousand Prostitutes

Editorial written by James Baughn on Thursday, November 27, 2003

from the you-can't-make-this-stuff-up dept.

In their infinite wisdom, the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau paid a consulting firm $42,000 to develop a marketing plan for the city. And what did the consultants deliver? A slogan that could easily make Cape Girardeau the laughing stock of the entire Midwest.

The proposed slogan (or "positioning statement" as they call it) is a seven word train wreck: "Where the river turns a thousand tales". Naturally, most ordinary people, upon hearing this phrase, will think "tails" instead of "tales".

It's a well-known fact that sex sells. But associating Cape with "turning tails" brings crass marketing to a whole new dirty level.

Are the marketing geniuses who developed this slogan so blind that they didn't see the double meaning? Or is this some kind of intentional joke being played on the city by these shifty slogan-makers who have discovered a way to reap $42,000 without doing any honest work?

Regardless of the intent, it's going to be very difficult for the CVB to emerge from this mess without looking like utter fools. If they don't use the slogan and associated marketing plan, then they will have wasted $42,000 -- money that could have been better spent on, well, anything and everything else!

If the city does use the slogan, however, then thousands of horny men will make a beeline for Cape hoping to turn some "tails" and get lucky on Good Hope Street. These are not the kind of tourists that the CVB wants to attract. Not only will Cape become the laughing stock of the Midwest for being so out of touch with common slang, but the city will develop a seedy reputation that will make East St. Louis and Las Vegas look upstanding by comparison.

No matter how you slice it, those fourty-two thousand dollars are not coming back and there is no chance that the money can be recouped through this disaster of a marketing plan. The CVB should have included a clause in its contract with the consulting firm which said something like, "If we don't recoup the money in five years through increased tourism, then we're not paying you squat."

Perhaps, in that case, the final product would have been a little more inspired and a little less sleazy.