As we watch our governor work to remove the foot he wedged firmly in his mouth and while the state tourism mind trust works to extricate itself from its “Honest To Goodness” mess of a stereotype-reinforcing blunder that we all saw coming [May 11 IBJ], I can’t help but wonder how we got to this point. Especially since the efforts to ameliorate the former are going to cost the state at least $2 million plus the actual cost of implementing whatever the global communications juggernaut Porter Novelli comes up with.
What’s wrong with just being the “Crossroads of America,” something we’ve been and something we seemingly have been trying to avoid being for quite long enough?
For years, the state has issued request for proposal after request for proposal to prospective agencies like ours seeking new positions and new work to dispel the notion that Indiana is nothing but corn fields, black socks with sandals, basketball and car racing.
From “Restart Your Engines” to “Honest To Goodness, Indiana” to Gov. Pence single-handedly turning back the clocks 200 years, the powers that be have done nothing but reinforce stereotypes about Indiana that absolutely do not reflect our state as being what it is—a hotbed for technology, innovation, culture, life sciences, ideas and, well, a veritable world of surprises, not to mention a great place to live and work.
George Evans, principal and creative director, Brandwidth