Huntington Beach has long been known as Surf City, USA. Although where the actual Surf City really is has always been up for debate, legally, Huntington Beach has the nickname. And it still has it, but now Huntington Beach has a new slogan, as well: The Soul of SoCal.
The new slogan was thought up by a Texas-based advertising agency and cost somewhere in the vicinity of $65,000. Yup, you read that right. According to Surfline, the city paid $35,000 for research and $30,000 for the marketing plan. Tax payers probably aren’t too happy about that. And they got four words, assuming that SoCal is one word. That means the advertising agency charged just over $16,000 per word.
“Huntington Beach has long been known as Surf City USA and one of California’s quintessential beach communities,” Kelly Miller, president and chief executive officer of Visit Huntington Beach, said in a release. “We learned that Huntington Beach resonates deeply as a destination that authentically delivers our brand promise: endless summer, flawless waves,” (ha!) “laid-back luxury and an unhurried, welcoming future … that represents ‘The Soul of the SoCal’ experience to our visitors domestically and internationally.”
Of course, it’s a little more than just a new slogan. It’s a whole new tourist marketing campaign, including “digital, social and print media, as well as a new website,” according to the LA Times.
“Our new campaign is focused on storytelling and content engagement around three distinct visitor experiential pillars: laid-back luxury, multi-generational family travel and action sports,”said Susan Thomas, Visit Huntington Beach’s chief marketing officer.
So far, though, the new slogan isn’t exactly popular. In a survey by HB Citizens for a Better Downtown, 96.6% included in the survey “hate the new slogan.”