Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tuna Tataki Tacos

On my way to work every day, I see this billboard:

What entity do you think pays for the billboard space?

An Asian restaurant?

The Midwest Regional Fish Importers Council?

Nope.

It's Denver.org.

The actual billboard, in a font about this big, does mention something about "What the locals know" and Denver.org., but it is so obscure it took me about 4 trips to be able to actually read it.

Tuna Tataki Tacos, on the other hand...plenty legible, thank you.

Reasons why this is a horribly ineffective billboard:

1. You can't read what the hell it's promoting.
2. Denver: Seriously? Tuna Tataki Tacos are supposed to make me want to visit your city? I LOVE food, but even I had to look up what Tuna Tataki is. You might want to play up the whole "mountains" thing instead.
3. We've established that I--someone who seeks out interesting food--don't want to visit for Tuna Tataki Tacos. Now consider that, what, 80% of Kansas Citians wouldn't even visit the type of restaurant that has them on the menu (let alone order them) and you're beginning to understand how big a waste of money this billboard is.
4. On top of all that, the billboard is on Southbound I-635 and Kansas Avenue...right above the railyards, in the middle of industrial KCK. I love my hometown, but gourmets we are NOT.

As Big As You Think.
Tuna Tataki Tacos.
The Only Risk Is Wanting To Stay (Colombia).

Yeah. Let me visit THOSE places.


3 comments:

Bull E. Vard said...

I drive by that sign everyday too and was intrigued for about a week. Then I finally read that it was a Denver tourism billboard (it seriously took a week for me to figure it out).

Since then I've had the same thoughts as you about it being ineffective. But, at the risk of sounding like a homer, we have plenty of good eats in KC. I would say we're a top 10 restaurant town and have numerous famous restaurants. Denver, while a fine city, is not known for its cuisine. Why would they advertise something to a town that is clearly superior in that something? It would be like KC advertising Liberty Memorial in DC.

In short, I've lost a little respect for Denver which is probably the opposite reaction than Denver wanted.

JJSKCK said...

@Bull-
I agree that we have plenty of great places to eat. I never find myself wanting for good food. I don’t know that we’re better or worse than Denver, but here’s the issue: 80% of the city (my own little estimate) has no interest in “cuisine” and would have no interest (or even negative interest) in going to a place which sounds so pretentious about their food. The other 20%, which includes people like us, knows where we can find good stuff here. Hell, based on the description, The Foundry has tuna tacos similar to those on special tonight.

I have no worse impression of Denver because it’s tourism slogan writers who really suck. They consistently fail to capture the real reasons people would visit their locale. Play to your strengths, tourism boards. How about promoting Denver as a beer lover’s haven? It’s not only accurate, but it was part of the reason I made my last trip there.

The Z-man said...

I was of the same opinion, until I realized that it seems to be a pretty good sign if everyone passing it is searching madly to find out what it is referring to. So, you search long and hard, figure it out, are kind of disappointed, but the phrase is kind of catchy. So, the next time you think of taking a vacation, are thinking of somewhere to go when you are getting over a hangover during the GABF, or are driving through Denver, you think, I need to try me some Tuna Tataki Taco's at Zengo's, and then they have you!!!