Austin City Council disposes of criticized Spam can logo


This might be the fastest expiring can of Spam ever created.

Just weeks after its unveiling, the Austin City Council voted unanimously to trash the new Spam-inspired, "Talent Packed" logo that took one year and $60,000 to create, the Austin Daily Herald reports.

The vote came at Monday night's work session, the paper says, after a slew of complaints from residents.

The local group Vision2020 worked for more than a year to create the rebranding image. It's a process a number of towns and cities – including Brooklyn Park (see below) and Woodbury – are currently going through in an effort to bring in more residents and businesses.

Austin contracted Minneapolis-based Haberman Consulting for help, and the town's new image and slogan were finally unveiled at a City Council meeting last month.

It did not illicit positive reactions from most residents. In fact, many people seemed to simply hate it.

“This logo does nothing to show Austin’s true value, diversity, or talent. I understand Hormel is a big part of Austin, so is Spam, but we as a community are much more than just those two items,” read one submission to Vision2020, according to the Post Bulletin.

And another: ” … something that is supposed to look like a Spam can is not a good idea.”

The town’s mayor even weighed in, telling the Star Tribune, “Most everybody didn’t like it right from the start … I haven’t gotten one call in favor of it.”

The image and slogan are a clear nod to the ham-in-a-can product that was invented by Hormel in Austin. The Hormel Foundation covered $35,000 of the cost of creating the logo. The Daily Herald reports the City Council won't consider another logo for at least a few months; members say the city's website needs to be redesigned first.

While Austin hits a Spam-tin-sized bump on its road to rebranding, add Brooklyn Park to the list of Minnesota communities trying to change its public perception.

In November, FOX 9 reported city leaders were unhappy with being labeled as a hub of crime, poverty and foreclosures – despite data showing the crime rate is as low as it's been in a decade, and big businesses deciding to move in to the northwest suburb.

"Despite all of this positive news, perceptions don’t align with reality, especially among those living and working outside Brooklyn Park," the city's rebranding website says.

Mayor Jeffrey Lunde told FOX 9 racism was a big part of the city's negative image. The station noted the 2010 census showed black, Asian and Hispanic residents now outnumber whites – but Lunde says there is no data showing the crime rate is different among races.

"People just see things, they'll associate things negative things – crime – with people's skin color," he said.

So the City Council voted to hire Minneapolis PR firm Carmichael Lynch Spong – for a cool $150,000 – to rebrand Brooklyn Park.

Last the week, the firm shared its findings with the City Council, the Star Tribune reports.

The general conclusion: Residents of Brooklyn Park see it as a safe, diverse place to live; on the upswing thanks to new business ventures in the city including Target and Olympus Surgical Technologies America, the paper says. But outsiders still view it as a crime-ridden area

Carmichael Lynch Spong also found many suburbs have slogans that are similar to one another, and feature being a "good" or "great" place to "work" or "live," the paper says – the firm suggests Brooklyn Park find one that's different to set the city apart.

Woodbury recently embarked on a similar journey, hiring PadillaCRT in an attempt to to lure more businesses, conventions and new residents. The early working idea revolves around Woodbury being “The Center of … ” something. But what that is has yet to be determined.

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