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Arizona's Hot New National Campaign

Move over Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and DraftFcb; amateur adman and Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce has delivered what every marketer since the beginning of time has promised clients: sudden, undeniable, national buzz. His brilliant messaging has captured the essence of Brand Arizona, and just needs a little professional tweaking to make the magnum opus complete. Instead of a snoozer of a name like the Arizona's Anti-Immigration Law, why not capitalize on the excitement with a new state tag line: "Arizona, Embrace Your Inner Racist."

The law, signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, makes it a state crime to be in Arizona illegally and requires police to check suspects for immigration paperwork. Naturally, this opens up a whole can of whoop ass on what's legal or not -- creating an intense national debate that could be settled if anyone bothered to look at the Constitution. And that's part of Arizona's brilliance in launching this campaign to draw attention to the state: they successfully gambled that people would rather argue about the obvious than disprove it.

The new Anti-Immigration Law campaign has even garnered celebrity tie-ins. Within days of announcing it, Linda Ronstadt, Shakira, Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin and George Lopez have chimed in on Arizona. Do you have any idea what these celebs would charge to talk about a product? Arizona got all of them for free. Add to that all the late-night talk show exposure, rallies in cities across the country, debates involving the President, and Arizona is suddenly the hottest ticket in the country. Talk about ROI -- Sen. Pearce and his Arizona lawmakers probably invested in a couple of quarts of coffee spiked with peyote and moonshine to cook this law up -- and voila: more exposure than back-to-back Super Bowl commercials.

For years, Arizona has languished in the morass of backwater branding initiatives. Its tag line, "Experience Arizona," could apply to anything from a new brand of Musk to a bunion dissolver. As a matter of fact, it's probably being used by a half a dozen other states with equal ineffectiveness. With their previous stance on things like refusing to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Sen. Pearce's endorsement of a deportation program known as Operation Wetback, Arizonans finally have a message that reflects the core attitude of their state: racism. It's brilliant and it opens up a real new demographic.

Instead of waiting for aging Republicans to finally throw in the towel and retire to Scottsdale, the world's largest golf course, Arizona can now count on a virtually untapped and unaddressed demographic: closet and not-so-closeted racists. The word is out: Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, Aryan Nation and White Supremacists, come to Arizona, you have a new playground!

The groundswell in newfound tourist money alone could carry the state for decades, not to mention all the Klan and Neo-Nazi rallies that would now be openly welcomed to take advantage of Arizona's terrific convention facilities.

I'd like to personally offer Arizona some additional tag lines to go along with this fame, before Leo Burnett or some other expensive agency decides to go after the account. How about: "Bring your guns to Arizona, we'll supply the targets"; "Arizona is for haters"; "If you're white, Arizona's all right" and "Arizona sends Latin Lovers Packing."

It's truly ironic that a state whose population is one-third Hispanic would want to alienate such a large and valuable workforce. If not for the illegal aliens, who would Arizona's "law abiding" business owners employ to do all the dirty jobs like beheading chickens and providing cheap stoop labor for agribusiness? If Arizona lawmakers really wanted to stop illegal immigration, they would go after those enabling it: Arizonans, not Mexicans.

11 comments about "Arizona's Hot New National Campaign".
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  1. Stephen G. Barr from SGB Media Group, May 5, 2010 at 6:43 a.m.

    Bravo!

  2. Rosemary Alvino-ditmore from Alvino-Ditmore Enterprises, May 5, 2010 at 7:23 a.m.

    Over 6.6 million people reside in Arizona. I am one of them. I resent you lumping us together, accusing us of being akin to the KKK or saying that we are all haters who use Latinos for target practice. Talk about a cheap shot. You imply that Arizonans are the only citizens in the entire U.S. enslaving Mexicans for cheap labor jobs, i.e. beheading chickens. Thousands of illegal immigrants have crossed the AZ border and it's not just Arizonans who are enabling their migration. Just about every other state in the U.S., probably even yours, has illegal immigrants residing within its borders. And I'm sure they're not living in posh palaces, unless of course, they're cleaning them or raising the owners' wee ones. Don't you remember? Nannygate was introduced in DC, not AZ. If you had read anything at all about this issue you would know that more people and drugs illegally cross through AZ than any other Southwestern border state, and for years through various administrations very little has been done to stop the human suffering on either side. Now that the weather's warming up, spend a few weeks in AZ and you will see immigrants who have been left to die in the desert by "coyote" smugglers. But be sure to watch out for the "scouts" who may shoot at you as their human "mules" haul sacks of drugs across our trails en route to destinations all over the country, not just here in AZ. And be sure to drop in a "drop" house where you'll find 40, 50, even 70 illegals crammed inside living in filth, stench and hunger. And watch out for the swerving truck in front of you that may suddenly overturn throwing dozens of immigrants all over the roadway. It is easy to criticize AZ for this controversial legislation when one is far removed the impact of illegal immigration. You have personally judged me and many of my fellow Arizonans harshly and unfairly.

  3. Wendy Jameson from ColnaTec, May 5, 2010 at 10:15 a.m.

    Rosemary, I too am a long-time resident of Arizona and found this post offensive. Your post was most welcome and very well stated. According to azcentral.com 39% of us locals disagree with the new law, and a great many of us are working hard to make a living, fight racism and promote sound immigration policy. I'm tired of people outside AZ chiming in with accusations and lumping us all together in their inflammatory commentary. We may be a minority of voices, but we DO exist.

    Arizona needs help, not accusations. As this post in the NYTimes shows, it's not just about AZ: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/opinion/02rich.html?src=me&ref=general

  4. Gabrielle Melisende from Destination Graphix, May 5, 2010 at 10:53 a.m.

    Wow! Your ignorance is astounding and I'm shocked Media Post approved such an offensive piece intended solely to further incite racism.

  5. Mickey Lonchar from Quisenberry, May 5, 2010 at 11:39 a.m.

    Tourism in AZ is an $18 billion industry. Mexico is far and away AZ's leading international trading partner. AZ's unemployment rate as of March was 9.6%.

    Rather than be 'offended' by a tongue-in-cheek 500 word post, @Gabrielle and @Wendy may want to consider being offended by politicos who pushed legislation that played on fear without regard to how it will affect Arizonans over the long term.

  6. Steve Lundin from bigfrontier, May 5, 2010 at 11:49 a.m.

    @Rosemary Alvino-Ditmore "You imply that Arizonans are the only citizens in the entire U.S. enslaving Mexicans " - sounds like the making of another tagline - AZ: our slaves are just like yours.

  7. Chris Koch from Q1Media, May 5, 2010 at 5:19 p.m.

    I look forward to analyzing the data on how this had a positive effect (tangible ROI) on Arizonans once "the flight" ends. My only question would be, is there an optimization plan in place?

  8. Peter Herring from TTW Systems, May 5, 2010 at 7:20 p.m.

    OK, as a 6 - year Arizonan, heading into a 7th summer (which gives me the right to speak), let me crank up the AC and do my part to turn down the heat on the "offense". I thought the article was funny - true you can apply racism to every state in the nation, but no one has branded quite as effectively around it as AZ - the state that recently brought us concealed weapons w/out permits (why would you advertise that you had a concealed weapon; it just doesn't make sense), a law that requires Presidential Candidates to produce birth certificates (the President in question knows whom we are talking about - even though he satisfied request for his BC, oh, a long time ago), and became the first state to drop Children's Health Insurance Program - oops, until they realized how much federal funding would be lost. Soon, they will start realizing how much tourism income is being lost, as well as the effects of insulting 1/3 of the state population and our trading partner to the south. Having moved here from Oregon, I have been suffering culture shock for 6 years. I would say that heat-addled brains are responsible for the thoughtless fanaticism that passes for politics in this insular crucible, but it's been a record cool spring (hey - proof that global warming is a left wing plot to enslave us all!). So I guess the legislature and the rubber stamp guv decided to turn the heat up. Go ahead, write all the funny articles you want; I'm laughing through the tears.

  9. Amber Boone from National RV Trader, May 6, 2010 at 9:14 a.m.

    Peter Herring said, "Go ahead, write all the funny articles you want; I'm laughing through the tears."
    Amen.
    No one said illegal immigration doesn't have dire consequences, Rosemary, but these ends definitely do not justify the means. I will protest any law that takes away MY constitutional rights. This is an example of BIG government- and I don't like the slippery slope to which it leads.
    In my opinion, this satire is in the same vein of Jonathan Swifts' A Modest Proposal- suggesting we feed the poor orphans to the rich.

  10. Gregory Yankelovich from Amplified Analytics Inc, May 6, 2010 at 7:21 p.m.

    The pendulum swings back and forth,
    in flow with the ebb of tide:
    from right to left, eroding the center
    each time as it passes by.

  11. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, May 21, 2010 at 11:50 a.m.

    Rosemary and Wendy - your indignation is targeted to the wrong people here. Focus on your own backyard. This article is pointing to absurdity of the Arizona laws (the only state to have them on the books so far) and hopefully prevent this practice from going further. Perhaps you could help with the organizing of the repeal of this constitution breaker? So how many of the Arizona's constituency that contributes big bucks to the tea bag, hate spewing politicians actually have a large illegal work force? Now there's a project for you.

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