3/30/09

marketing chicago

like most categories, tourism commercials tend to look identical, regardless of which place they're touting. you see pictures of beautiful skyline, some happening nightlife, some outdoor fun, some indoor fun, and every crowd of people is 1) multi-ethnic and 2) smiling widely.

of course, rarely is this parade of clich├ęs a true reflection of the place it's advertising. i was thinking about this yesterday while running the annual Shamrock Shuffle here in chicago. this 8K race attracted 14,000 runners in spite of the fact that it was a meteorological Armageddon (3 inches of slushy snow that continued to fall the whole race, thunder, lightning, wind gusts up to 30MPH or 40KPM and, i believe, locusts).

for those who watched, it was perhaps the most accurate commercial they ever saw for chicago. a true demonstration that, if you put a beer tent at the end, chicagoans will do anything to get there.

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