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Cleveland jazzes up it’s campaign

Published March 10, 2014 at 7:46 am

For over 20 years, Cleveland has been home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. More than just a tourist attraction, the museum has been a major source of civic pride and is one of the biggest factors in its slogan, “Cleveland Rocks.”

Now, while the Hall of Fame isn’t going anywhere, the slogan is on the way out, in favor of a new branding campaign to be unveiled soon.

Next month, Positively Cleveland, the city’s tourism bureau, will promote a new slogan designed to update the city’s image and encourage more out-of-towners to see everything that Cleveland has to offer.

Part of the impetus behind the change is an appeal to youth. The bureau explains that “Cleveland Rocks,” while iconic and fitting, skewed older and was no longer relevant to a demographic that hasn’t used vinyl in some time. In addition, the city isn’t well-known for its live music scene, leaving it with a slogan that wasn’t really drawing any business.

David Gilbert, who heads Positively Cleveland, explained the central issue with the old tag-line.

“Rock and Roll is certainly a part of our history, part of who we are,” he said. “What we found is that ‘Cleveland Rocks’ did not translate into visiting.”

Will people’s mind change about Cleveland based on a new slogan? Perhaps not overnight, but Gilbert has expressed hopes that decades-old stereotypes can be laid to rest with this fresh new campaign.

Once people realize all the new, great things about the city, the thinking goes, they will shake off their reluctance to visit and come see what makes Cleveland great.

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