"Houston. It’s Worth It” ("HIWI" for short) began in 2004; the unusual city promotional campaign acknowledges Houston’s many problems, but declares that the city it still “worth it.” Some people (such as the head of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau) haven’t liked the slogan, and other people have.
Houston. It’s Worth It. (ABOUT)
When Houston’s founders, the Allen Brothers, advertised the availability of lots in 1836 they omitted the truth as to its problems, and embellished the truth as to its virtues -
“It is handsome and beautifully elevated, salubrious, and well-watered….”
This strategy of omission and embellishment set the groundwork for most marketing campaigns to follow. As a result, we Houstonians have become a bit defensive trying to live up (or down) to images fabricated from marketing ideas rather than the experience of living here.
With that in mind, “Houston. It’s Worth It.” was created believing that acknowledging the difficulties of living in Houston only makes the reasons why it’s worth it more compelling, and that while Houstonians can reach a consensus on the difficulties of living here, the reasons it’s worth it are diverse and plentiful.
A city must know itself before it can sell itself. We’ve created a website to allow Houstonians to share with other Houstonians-and the world-why it’s worth it to live here, and in the process hopefully get to know ourselves better.
THE FLYING COCKROACHES
THE PROPERTY TAXES
THE SHORT SPRINGS
THE LONG SUMMERS
THE NO MOUNTAINS
Houston. It’s Worth It. (PRESS)
Written By: Hairballs
When you get elected mayor of the country’s fourth-largest city despite being charisma-free, you tend to be thankful to the guys who ran your ad campaign. And Houston Mayor Bill White certainly is.
So when those ad guys—the company sports the precious name ttweak—put together a pro-bono PR campaign to boost Houston’s image, you would think most city bureaucrats would say it’s just wonderful.
That’s not, however, what Jordy Tollett did. Tollett, the head of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, has been giving a cold shoulder to ttweak’s “Houston—It’s Worth It” campaign. He told the Houston Chronicle the campaign’s point—listing things like heat and traffic, then saying the city is still Worth It—only highlights negative aspects of what he prefers to call Space City. He later refused to talk to a New York Times reporter for a story on it.
White is annoyed and is looking to oust Tollett, the rumor mill says.
Google Groups: alt.quotations
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2004 20:00:02 -0700
Local: Sat, Sep 11 2004 10:00 pm
Subject: Houston, You’ve Got a Problem
HOUSTON - When the air is thick with mosquitoes and moisture, it’s hard to get people to think kindly of this town. Civic boosters have tried for years, portraying Houston as a pro-business paradise while sidestepping the reality of living in a city built on a swamp.
But a local marketing firm recently took the blinders off and started an independent, online campaign to promote the real Houston, warts and all.
“The flying cockroaches. The mosquitoes. The traffic,” reads the ad, which lists 17 more drawbacks before concluding that, in spite of it all, “Houston. It’s Worth It.”
The website then asks residents to post why the city, unlovely and uncomfortable as it can be, appeals to them all the same.
The point, said the ad’s co-creator, David Thompson, is to acknowledge the worst and move on.
“It sort of pulls the rug out from the easy place to go--how can you stand the heat—and automatically takes you to a more meaningful conversation,” he said.
Houstonians have responded so enthusiastically to the site - http://www.houstonitsworthit.com - that a technician reprogrammed the page to give people more room to write.
“I feel normal here. Maybe it is because I am imperfect like this city,” wrote one person.
“The cleanest jail cells of any major metropolitan area,” wrote another.
And then there was this analogy: “If Houston were a dog, she’d be a mutt with 3 legs, one bad eye, fleas the size of Corn Nuts and buck teeth. Despite all that, she’d be the best dog you’d ever know.”
-- Lianne Hart
_Los Angeles Times_ [September 11, 2004],
“The Mosquitoes, the Humidity . . .”
Google Groups: houston.general
Newsgroups: houston.general, houston.eats
Date: 24 Sep 2004 13:32:17 -0700
Local: Fri, Sep 24 2004 3:32 pm
Subject: Interesting HBJ article on new imaging campaign
That’s how the image ball bounces in Houston
Special to Houston Business Journal
Get the convention bureau out of the civic image business. There is a sense in some quarters that the current “Houston: It’s Worth It” campaign has struck a chord in part because it’s just another fun way to torture convention bureau chief Jordy Tollett.
August 25, 2006
Filed under: Spaced City
How about “Keep Houston Screwed”?
So by now everybody knows about the state capital city’s “Keep Austin Weird” T-shirt, bumper sticker and Internet campaign, wherein our neighbors maintain that Austin is still as strange as they seem to think it is.
What you might not know is that all the other cities in Texas have similar drives. Dallas and its hyperabundance of 30k millionaires is home to the “Keep Dallas Pretentious” crusade, while laid-back, resolutely unstylish San Antonio marches under the “Keep San Antonio Lame” banner.
So far, our fair city has trailed the pack. Yeah, we have the “Houston. It’s Worth It” deal, but times like these demand we keep up with the pace. So what should we “keep” Houston?
Here’s a couple of ideas:
“Keep Houston Ghetto.”
“Keep Houston Crunk.”
“Keep H-Town Trill.”
Word Mark HOUSTON. IT’S WORTH IT.
Goods and Services IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Clothing, namely, shorts, shirts, t-shirts, swimsuits, blouses, skirts, scarves, gloves, pants, sweaters, jerseys, socks, jackets, suits, training suits, vests, neckties, belts, suspenders, dresses, coats, raincoats, overcoats, smocks, underwear, pajamas, brassieres, corsets, slips, lingerie; headwear, namely, hats, caps and berets; footwear, namely, boots, sandals, shoes and slippers. FIRST USE: 20040600. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20040600
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Design Search Code
Serial Number 78441061
Filing Date June 24, 2004
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition June 14, 2005
Registration Number 3099120
Registration Date May 30, 2006
Owner (REGISTRANT) TTWEAK, LLC David A. Thompson, Berry D. Bowen, Randy L. Twaddle, all citizens of the United States LTD LIAB CO TEXAS 4904 Travis Houston TEXAS 77002
Attorney of Record John S. Egbert
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE “HOUSTON” APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (1) Comments • Saturday, February 24, 2007 • Permalink
I had never hear of this Houston slogan before. I can tell you from experience that it’s worth it. It’s a great city for our website marketing company.