Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Greeley's "Let's Go" campaign based on phrase Horace Greeley may never have said

Let's go West, young man! The town backed by newspaper publisher Horace Greeley -- the man who may, or may not, have proclaimed "Go West, young man!" -- is all grown up.

Grown up enough to introduce a new branding campaign for its downtown with a colorful, clownish logo and the unironic slogan "Let's Go."

[jump]

Greeley was the publisher of the New York Tribune in 1851 when John B.L. Soule wrote the line "Go west, young man, go west" in an editorial. But Greeley definitely followed that advice as a not-so-young man, touring the Colorado gold camps after the rush in 1859 and reporting on what he say. And then in 1870, he backed the utopia colony led by Nathan Meeker, the agriculture editor of the Tribune, that became Greeley.

Which just announced its new branding campaign for downtown.

"Although the Downtown Development Authority has a logo of its own, there really hasn't been a logo or slogan that uniquely identifies and brands the downtown district itself as a place to go, shop, dine and enjoy entertainment," says Alison Hamling, director of Downtown Experience, in a release announcing the campaign, complete with a logo and the slogan "Let's Go."

"It started with 'Let Yourself Go' and then became 'Let's Go' when some people said the former conjured images of lying around on the couch in your bathrobe with curlers in your hair," Hamling adds, making no mention of Greeley.

But the logo designed for the campaign definitely conjures up visions of couches and curlers -- not unlike the logo recently introduced in Colorado Springs.

And the "Let's Go" logo definitely gives Colorado Springs -- which slapped itself with the slogan "Live It Up" -- a run for its money in insipidness.

Let's go, Colorado! Live it up!

At least the State of Colorado finally has a decent tourism campaign. Read about it in our post "Colorado Tourism Office comes to life with new campaign."

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun