We wanted to like it.

Actually, we wanted to love it.

We thought it was a really good idea for our city to find something intrinsically "Oneonta" that could help lure tourists and industry.

A New Hampshire firm was chosen to come up with what's known as a "brand," something unique about Oneonta that could be used in promotions and advertising.

Then came Thursday night's ballyhooed announcement at the Oneonta Theatre, complete with Mayor Dick Miller, Main Street Oneonta spokeswoman Maggie Barnes and about 50 other assorted enthusiasts.

For a fee of $20,000, The Glen Group of North Conway, N.H., came up with its new slogan for Oneonta:

"Life Enjoyed."

Huh? That's it?

We are reminded of the classic Dorothy Parker review of the play, "The House Beautiful."

"The House Beautiful," she wrote, "is the play lousy."

So it must be said:

"Life Enjoyed" is the brand bland.

"Life Enjoyed" seems like it should be printed on a brochure for a nursing home or retirement community.

Why have a slogan _ and a past-tense one at that _ that could pertain to virtually anywhere in the country, or the world, for that matter?

What is unique to Oneonta about "Life Enjoyed"?

At least the longtime "City of the Hills" moniker was descriptive, if vague and not terribly unique, either.

Compounding this nonsense was the inclusion of black-eyed Susans on the new city logo.

Yeah, the flowers.

If anybody has ever associated Oneonta with black-eyed Susans before Thursday night, it is news to us.

What we heard was that somebody from the Glen Group noticed some of the flowers when visiting here, and seized upon them as somehow representative of Oneonta.

What we suspect, however, is that the New Hampshirites got our Oneonta mixed up with a different Oneonta, the Deep South one nestled in scenic Blount County, Alabama.

Seriously, it is obvious that this outside firm had no grasp on what makes our Oneonta what it is.

Our central location to other Upstate cities, our easy access to New York City, our universities, public schools, health care facilities, culture, arts and weather are just some of the things that "Life Enjoyed" doesn't come close to defining.

Mayor Miller, Otsego County Tourism Director Deb Taylor and Barnes should have known better.

It will take much more than Thursday night's rah-rah pep rally to make this turkey fly. Oneonta deserves better than "Life Enjoyed" and some black-eyed Susans.

Much better.

Trending Video

Recommended for you