Monday, January 24, 2011

Hyperbole

I always thought it interesting that you heard a politician so often say "The Great State of California" when I lived there. I decided it wasn't a fluke, that either currently, or at some point in the past, someone had told people to say that, as a subtle part of a marketing campaign.

On the other hand, we've suffered through "The Other Washington" and "Washington. The State" (as opposed to the dead guy or the capital or the more than 80 cities in the U.S. that contain the name). And don't even get anyone started on "Say WA." A candidate running who's run (and lost) for nearly every top state job in the past decade (wow, that money could have fed a lot of hungry children) had a website where people could submit ideas about making the state better and I posted the simple observation of the Great State of California and the marketing sense of injecting some kind of thought about Washington into people's minds and I was roundly dismissed by the other people contributing to the site. Closed minded little dullards. If this was his constituency, no wonder he keeps losing.

And here's why hyperbole works. Say it enough and people believe it. Is California "great"? Not 100%. But they say it is and you buy it. Now, granted, they also have a strong film commission and a lot of other things going for it. (But my non-starter original plan for working for the Washington State Film Commission in the mid-90's when I graduated from college isn't the topic of this post, nor am I suggesting my failure to act in this regard has any impact on anything.)

But yeah, call something magical long enough and people line up, waving fistfuls of cash. I just hope the second unicorn has front *and* back cameras. (Those of you wanting retina display will have to wait a bit longer.)

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