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'North of Normal': Fargo-Moorhead ups the quirk with new slogan

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The people whose job it is to attract visitors to the Fargo-Moorhead area want you to know: If you're looking for traditional "normal," don't head their way.

The Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau debuted a new slogan for the region recently: "North of Normal."

The area's selling point isn't something tangible, a physical attraction that people come to see, the visitors bureau explains. Rather, it's an "attitude and culture," one they say is captured in the tagline.

There's a short film to go along with it too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RGVBg8SYPI

So what is 'North of Normal,' exactly?

The word that Charley Johnson, the visitor bureau's president, uses, is "quirkiness," WDAY reports.

We know we're north, and we're north of normal in what we see as a really good way," he said.

The new slogan is driven by the influx of young people, and an emerging independent arts and culture scene, one that Johnson called a "tremendous entrepreneurial movement," Valley News Live reports.

Says the bureau in its explanation: It's "a reflection of our young, highly educated talent that’s churning out innovative ideas, eateries, events and businesses that are reshaping the face of this region. Fargo is, well, cool."

There's also something of a nod to the "Fargo" film and TV show, which paints the region as, well, quirky (though with some startling violence mixed in). Johnson told Prairie Business Mag that, while the pop culture view shows a decidedly dark side, the bureau "can't run away" from the immensely valuable name recognition.

Do people like it?

It seems most people do.

On Twitter, there's very little snark or complaining. Here's a sampling.

And on Facebook, where the bureau posted the video, most of the comments are supportive, with people calling the slogan awesome, ad saying the video was well done. Though some take umbrage with the image, saying it doesn't present Fargo as the city they're familiar with.

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