Saddle up, pardner. It's branding time at the ol' Oneonta corral!
On Aug. 5, a new branding logo will be revealed to all at a special ceremony at the Oneonta Theatre. Branding is the idea that a community should have a slogan, logo or saying that is concise, sharp and so focused so that the image of the community comes immediately to mind.
You know, like "Ithaca Is Gorges!" Yes, Ithaca is gorgeous, and its gorges are part of the city's lure. A nice play on words, that one is. Or Lake Placid's "Home in the High Peaks." Sweet.
Of course, some have unintended meanings or ancient references. Troy long ago shed the moniker "The Collar City" for the much more Chamber of Commerce-friendly, "Home of Uncle Sam." And the best Niagara Falls could do, with all the glory it had to work with, was "The Cataract City." Why it chose to use the old, obscure waterfall reference instead of something evoking more grandeur is beyond me. I mean, I see "The Cataract City" on a sign and it tells me I am in a city where everyone has bad eyesight!
So I can't wait to see what The Glen Group, the New Hampshire pros hired to brand us, comes up with for Oneonta. I just hope they remember that the shorter, the better.
Advertising Age Magazine tells us that the most memorable slogans of all time have been ones just three little words long. They are "Just Do It," "We Try Harder," "Breakfast of Champions," "Diamonds Are Forever," and the immortal "Where's the Beef?" You all know these companies, don't you?
Three words. Powerful. Heck, even Nancy Reagan's much-maligned three-word anti-drug message, "Just Say No," is now getting a much-appreciated second look.
Now, back to our brand.
A concise saying to describe our area, huh? It'll be quite a task if they choose to go the "three-word route." I mean our area has an embarrassment of riches. I know that by the time Friday comes around on my radio program I have given out pages and pages of info about the upcoming weekend's events.
A week ago I went out to dinner with some family members and we were talking about how much there really is to do in our area. My mother-in-law said in passing, "Whenever anybody asks me what is there do to in our area, I reply, just look around!"
"Just look around." Short, simple and three words. I could see the bumper stickers already, "Oneonta ... just look around!" "Otsego County ... just look around."
It speaks volumes about our region. Sure, family events, concerts, fundraisers, gallery showings, performances, etc., don't always reach up and smack you in your face. But if you, well, just look around, there they are as big as life!
Oneonta and its environs positively demand that you get out and enjoy. Over the last couple of weeks I have talked about and attended art shows (such as the fabulous Stagecoach Run in Treadwell), live performances (Delaware County's own "Good Humor" man, Jim Mullen at the Franklin Stage Company), a cornucopia of bountiful farmers' markets (Cooperstown and Oneonta), the fantastic First Friday extravaganzas in Oneonta all season long, old car shows, "Warplanes Over the Polo Grounds" in Gilbertsville (twice!), junior livestock shows in Cooperstown, Oneonta's own version of American Idol, which brings SRO crowds to the Foothills Performing Arts Center (this CNY Radio event is the largest talent show in Central New York and the young entertainers are first-rate), live baseball action at Damaschke Field (Outlaws) or Doubleday Field (Hawkeyes) and much more.
And it's not even fair season yet!
The folks from New Hampshire will have their work cut out for them. Otsego County used to be the "Leatherstocking Region," which I loved, but let's face it, the romance of "Leatherstocking Region" starts to draw blanks once you hit, say, Whitney Point. "What's a leatherstocking?"
And I never liked "City of the Hills." Never. It always kind of sounded like a "clip art slogan." "You got hills? Good, you're now the City of the Hills." Next. Yawn.
So I wish our branders well in summing up the whole of our parts. It'll be hard to imagine a logo without the ubiquitous soccer ball in it, now just a misty memory of the shuttered Hall of Fame.
I hope the soccer ball is not replaced with a baseball, again weakly trying to tie our apron strings to our neighbor up Route 28.
What about the "little red caboose" where history really was made? Will that make the final pick? Brook's House of Bar-B-Q? The colleges? "Birthplace of IBM?" The Susquehanna?
Yes, pardner, I can't wait!
Oh, and by the way. So you are not scratching your heads the rest of the day, the companies alluded to in the beginning of this column are Nike, Avis, Wheaties, DeBeers and Wendy's.
'Big Chuck' D'Imperio can be heard on weekdays beginning at 6 a.m. on WDOS-AM 730 in Oneonta, and also on Thursday nights from 7-9 p.m. on WSRK-FM 103.9 for his "Oldies Jukebox Show." You can find "Big Chuck" on Facebook under Upstate New York Books. He invites you to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/bigchuck. You can find "Big Chuck" on Facebook under Upstate New York Books.
Saddle up, pardner. It's branding time at the ol' Oneonta corral!
- Big Chuck
1965 Oscars? Thanks for the memories
Well, the 86th Academy Awards are over. And for the record, I did a pretty good job in my Daily Star Oscar picks. I got them all right except one. Cate Blanchett was the spoiler in my clean sweep. Not bad, if I do say so myself.
There was just no telling about snow days
Winters get harder as we get older. Things change. It snows more. It snows less. It gets colder. It's a lot milder. It all changes as our knees start to creak and the thought of shoveling a foot of snow seems positively daunting.
And the music goes round and round
The day has finally arrived.
When did pranks turn into vandalism?
I was a teenage vandal.
Happy and sad memories of Jan. 7, 1966
Jan. 7 is always a big celebration day in the D'Imperio family. My twin sisters, Teri and Mary, plus my youngest daughter, Katie, all share it as a birthday. The date, however, is not without a dark significance.
- Monday, December 30, 2013
Lesser known greats that passed away in 2013
The year 2013 is drawing to a close and as it does I would like to give a tip of the hat and a fond goodbye to a group of famous people who left the world stage. Their departures will be noted here in this column although they may have missed a final adios in the major media outlets. Letâ€™s give them their moment in the sun.
- Monday, December 16, 2013
Reunions all the sweeter amid WWII
There is nothing like running into old friends in the most unexpected places. Like on a vacation, or in a mall or even in the supermarket. It is always a time for a â€œHail and how are you?â€� moment.
- Monday, December 2, 2013
There's no tough sledding when you're a youngster|
Winter weather is here. And so are outdoor winter activities.
- Monday, November 18, 2013
Vroman's Nose hike is no walk in the park
I haven't gone on a hike since 1961 when President Kennedy asked all Americans to take a 50-mile hike for physical fitness. I did it then. With a large group of my schoolmates and friends. We walked from Sidney to Oneonta and back.
- Monday, November 4, 2013
Being a grandpa will be better than just OK
I am going to be a grandfather.
- Monday, October 21, 2013
Some hits from the soundtrack of my life
As most people know, I wear two hats at my radio station.
- Monday, October 7, 2013
Some book picks from an avid reader
I came to reading begrudgingly. I was an impatient student easily bored with books. Finally an eighth-grade English teacher in Sidney, Kay Jester, figured out my problem. She told me that I had an inquisitive mind and had an affinity for storytelling. She also told me I was reading the wrong books.
- Monday, September 23, 2013
Swapping stories with a sweet centenarian
Marge Mathews is one very special lady.
- Monday, September 9, 2013
Farm honor system can grow on you
What a difference the flip of a calendar makes. I love September and the produce stands!
- Monday, August 26, 2013
My brush with a future president
President Obama came to town!
- Monday, August 12, 2013
Colonoscopy isn't much of a pain in the ...
When a professional looks you in the eye and says, "Sit down, I have something I want to talk to you about," your normal reaction is a flexing of the gluteus maximus and the appearance of sweat drops on the palms of your hands.
- Monday, July 29, 2013
An easy way â€¨to be a hero
It is not much to ask. Plus they give you a cookie and a glass of juice!
- Monday, July 15, 2013
Digging up memories, one box at a time
My Dad kept everything.
- Monday, July 1, 2013
Moms, girlfriends and wives of TV history
I recently saw on TV a birthday salute to actress Betty White. It included many archival videos, celebrity interviews and reminisces from her early days on television. There is no doubt that Betty has found the magic pill. Into her nineties she is still starring in a hit sitcom, "Hot in Cleveland!"
- Monday, June 17, 2013
Upstate theme parks offered affordable thrills
I saw in the news last week that Disney theme parks are raising admission prices to almost $100 a person. Children (who Uncle Walt considers 10 and under) are now $86 a day.
- 1965 Oscars? Thanks for the memories