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Creating a tagline for Toronto…

I was recently approached by fellow branders; Ken and Ian from Blueprint with a fun opportunity. They usually work with companies to help them uncover their core proposition (why one should buy from them over the competition). But, with the upcoming municipal elections, it seemed like a fun exercise for the city. In the first two of three articles, journalist Jennifer Wells explained the Blueprint process and reported on the progress in uncovering the city’s DNA, also asking readers to share the words they felt best fit Toronto. The response was staggering – 500 replies in three days.

They ran the responses through Wordle which indicated the top three words were ‘Toronto’, ‘World’ and ‘City.’ That’s very cool because a key statement from Blueprint’s work was ‘Toronto is a World City.’ Nice to know you’re on the same track as so many others.

The core proposition statement they arrived at was ‘Embracing the World.’

The Creative Challenge

The original idea wasn’t to come up with a tagline, but the core statement and story of Toronto’s DNA – it wasn’t a marketing exercise. Once the exercise was complete, they realized the statement sounded like a tagline, which could be confusing, so why not actually develop a tagline?

Enter, Rapport. Blueprint approached five Toronto agencies including us, with less than five days to deliver. Though rushed and free, a fun exercise and good exposure, so we agreed. The creative brief boiled down to this: Toronto is a city that truly embraces different cultures, allowing a lot of great things happen here. Because of this attitude and results, Toronto is a model for cities around the world to follow.

Summing up Toronto’s DNA in One Clever Statement

I assembled our top writers Beth Parker and Jim Murray, plus our brand strategist Terri Carson and new Rapport team member Samantha Esteves for a brainstorming session. With Blueprint having done the foundation work, we got right into the creative part. There were many ideas like ‘I belong. We all belong.’ and ‘Make Yourself At Home.’ They were compelling, but none hit both notions: embracing the world, and Toronto as a model for the world. Then suddenly, an idea formed in Jim’s head and the top contender popped out: ‘Toronto… It’s Where the World is Going.’

This bit of creative genius was included with the other agency’s submissions in the Sunday Star October 10, 2010. Read the article here: http://bit.ly/b63PX4 – you’ll find ours and the other submissions at the end. Which one is your favourite?

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