Thursday, September 17, 2009

Great or Greatest?


When I was down in Florida a couple of months ago, I bought two Starbucks mugs - one for me, one for Dave - featuring the skyline of Tampa, my hometown.

Beneath the skyline are words alleged to be the city's slogan: "America's Next Greatest City."

Problem is, that's not the city's slogan. It's never been the city's slogan.

Back in the 1980s, Tampa adopted the slogan "America's Next Great City." It was widely mocked at the time, but it more or less stuck and was used for several years. Eventually, Tampa drifted away from that phrase, though - yesterday I checked both the city's Web site and that of the Chamber of Commerce, and could find no mention of it.

Somehow, in designing its Tampa mug, Starbucks turned "Great" into "Greatest," which makes the phrase seem even more flaccid than usual. "America's Next Greatest City" makes it sound like the runner-up. As in, not the greatest, but the next-greatest.

Mind you, I am not ridiculing Tampa here. I love Tampa and still think of it as home, despite the fact that I haven't lived there since 1992. I just think it's humorous that Starbucks bollixed the slogan - which probably illustrates why it wasn't such a great slogan in the first place.

12 comments:

Utahdog! said...

Our Starbucks mugs sport the feeble slogan for Jacksonville, "The Bold New City of the South"

Which is almost as dorky as Tampa's. Jacksonville is one of the oldest cities in Florida and the south, first of all. Second, is there anything bold about the south other than maybe BBQ sauce or dry-rub? Maybe Whiskey?

Maybe the Jacksonville cup should say "The Traditional, Mild, Old Burg in South Georgia"

mouse (aka kimy) said...

pray tell, what is known as THE greatest city....

Reya Mellicker said...

There was a typo on the Starbuck's DC mug, too.

I'm on the Bolt bus!!

Barbara said...

I wonder if anyone else noticed this? Maybe you should submit something to the local Tampa newspaper pointing it out! Better yet, maybe you should write a letter to Starbucks. They might pay you handsomely in Starbucks gift cards not to further publicize their error! :)

Barbara said...

Utahdog -- I am from the far northwest extreme of FL, which has always felt more like south Alabama. I'm not sure PC was ever sophisticated enough to have a slogan, although it did boast having "the world's most beautiful beaches."

Steve said...

Utah: Actually, I think my Jacksonville mug says "Where Florida Begins," or something like that. Maybe I have a different edition.

Barbara: PC's mug should say "The Redneck Riviera"!

Utahdog! said...

Yes, Stephen. The new mugs say that. We are no longer the bold new city of the south. "Jacksonville, Where Florida Begins" is easier to remember than, "Jacksonville, a nice place to get a burger on your way to Miami."

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

So many city mottoes are lame. Do Paris, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, et. al. have city mottoes or if they had one would it make you more inclined to visit? I am also bemused by those regular surveys that rank cities on increasingly bizarre criteria. Forbes did one a week or so ago based on "stress" criteria, which is very subjective to me.

melissam2 said...

You may not find it surprising at all, given our bonding as youth over "Copernious," that I have already contacted Starbuck's over this issue! They either have a slew of them already made, or the marketing department decided that "America's Most Worstest Grammar Capital of the World" was not a good idea on a mug!

Merle Sneed said...

Ours says, "Hooterville...eh."

Steve said...

Melissa: LOL! Rock on! So glad you've attempted to set them straight! :)

lettuce said...

haha

flaccid is a good word