Re-branding state with new slogan

  • Wisconsin unveiled its new logo and slogan Monday.
  • "Live Like You Mean It" replaces "Life's So Good."
  • The change is meant to showcase Wisconsin's originality and attract tourists.

When you're in Wisconsin, "Live Like You Mean It."

That's the message being sent by state tourism officials, who unveiled the new slogan and logo Monday. "Live Like You Mean It" supplants "Life's So Good."

The re-branding started a year ago, when Gov. Jim Doyle asked the Department of Tourism to research what distinguishes Wisconsin from other states. "Originality" is what they found and is the main idea behind the new brand.

"No matter how people come in contact with Wisconsin, they'll know precisely what we stand for in this state," Doyle said in a statement released by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. "We are a place where the people are fiercely proud, hard-working, loyal, have fun with life and where the culture fuels creativity and embraces original thinking."

Doyle said the new brand will not only attract tourists, but also businesses.

"This is another tool we'll use to keep loyal visitors coming back, communicate why a business should relocate or expand here, and let talented employees know why they should choose Wisconsin," he said.

But it turns out the slogan isn't all that original.

"Live Like You Mean It" is used by some motivational speakers and is the title of several books.

Irene Calboli, a Marquette Law professor specializing in Intellectual Property Law, said though criticism of the slogan will continue, it's unlikely there will be action taken against Wisconsin.

"I doubt that the state would have legal problems," Calboli said. "And I would tend to exclude any likelihood of consumer confusion between the Wisconsin products and services carrying the new logo and slogan and the preexisting ones."

The new brand will first be used for marketing Wisconsin tourism, and then applied to other state agencies and private companies.

"Energy" is the reason this specific logo was chosen, said tourism secretary Kelli Trumble.

"The silhouetted figure cartwheeling across the top of Wisconsin really speaks to the invitation to live and work and play here," she said. "And 'Live Like You Mean It' speaks to the fact that if you can imagine it, you can do it in Wisconsin. It was chosen for its energy."

The logo was designed by Milwaukee marketing company Red Brown Kle. The color scheme came from consumer research done in Wisconsin and neighboring states, Trumble said. The green was chosen to represent Wisconsin's abundant natural resources, while the red was chosen to represent passion and energy.

A Green Bay tourism official said the re-branding will help keep Wisconsin attractive as a tourist destination, bringing in the accompanying spending. Tourism is one of the Wisconsin's top three industries, according to the department's Web site.

"The state typically sees about $13 billion of spending that comes from visitors," said Brad Toll, president of the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau. "As you enter into some challenging economic times, the tax revenue that's driven by visitor spending, we certainly don't want to see that go down."