Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Overthinking It: The GET LOST Campaign

A bumper sticker has been sitting in my dresser for well over a year.  I can't seem to bring myself to throw it out, but I don't think I want it on my car.

My husband has one on his car, and so do a lot of my friends. This logo and these stickers are a common sight in Montana.

Please don't judge.  It's hard to keep a car clean in Montana!

The “Get Lost” slogan is a part of a campaign for marketing Montana tourism. So, why don't I put one on my car?

1. I really hate to be lost!

I have absolutely no sense of direction.  Admittedly, I'm usually never lost for very long, but I frequently experience the frustrations of not knowing how to get to where I want to be.   
I actually found out there is a name for my inability to navigate: Directional Dyslexia.  I wrote about it in one of my very first posts on this blog, and you can read about it here. While the GET LOST logo really just refers to exploring the vast wilderness of Montana, the thought of being lost reminds me of my limitations! I don't need that sort of reminder on my car every day!

 2. I fear road rage, and I don't want to be perceived as rude.

The bumper sticker is meant to capture people's attention. Most will immediately understand the context of the slogan and read the whole thing. 
I picture a driver riding my bumper, however, who happens to be a very concrete thinker and takes the first part (GET LOST) of the bumper sticker literally, then fails to read the “IN MONTANA” part. I prefer not to be in that situation!

 3. One of the things I love about Montana is how there just aren't very many people here.

While I understand that tourism is a part of the economy of Montana, I don't love how our traffic increases during tourist season. Selfish? You bet!
Even though I've been familiar with the Get Lost (In Montana) campaign for a while, I didn't know much about it.  I visited the website today to see what I could learn.

According to the advertising company, it is difficult to involve locals in advertising a product which they already enjoy and don't necessarily want to share. (see # 3 above!)  They came up with a slogan that could mean different things to different people.  They wanted to  “create intrigue” which would lead people to GetLostMT.com. (The website is in small print at the bottom of the logo.)

The campaign has been successful, and there has been (myself thus far excluded) quite a bit of local participation. I think the campaign has been good for Montana tourism and Montana, as it is meant to attract the type of person who would appreciate and take care of the resources Montana has to offer.

I've been feeling a little silly for overthinking this bumper sticker. It appears, however, that it has already been given a lot of thought.

This kind of getting lost with our dog is actually really nice - especially when we know we'll find our way!

What is your reaction to this bumper sticker?

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  1. I think I have directional dyslexia too. Every time we're not sure which way to go, Hubs asks me and then does the opposite of what I say.
    I understand your reticence concerning the slogan. I don't think I'd put it on my car either.

  2. My directional ability is good. Luckily because my partner puts the D in directional dyslexia.
    I am not big on any bumper stickers though. I read them on other cars and sometimes enjoy them - but am happy not to put them on ours.
    Tourists? Even when I am one I don't like the breed.

    1. I love your last statement EC - and I totally agree!

  3. "...reaction to this bumper sticker?" I rather like it. One of the fun things about road trips is reading bumperstickers. "Get Lost" is quite good, but I think my favorite was on a new pickup: "Yes, it's my truck. No, I won't help you move."

    1. I hadn't seen the truck one ... but, so true!

  4. We don't have bumper stickers on our cars...not even those stick figure families - although my daughter would love those. your story reminded me how we once during the holidays we piled into our car went to dunkin donuts got warm beverages for everyone and drove around the neighborhood looking at the Christmas Lights on homes at one point we tuned up a block that we were not familiar with the car ahead of was far up ahead of us but I can see that hubby was closing in quickly - they had a bumper sticker that said"if you get to close or honk your horn, i will drive slower" as we were getting closer I read it to myself and asked hubby did you read the bumper sticker do you think its true? he smiled said yes and for what seemed like forever we were behind this person doing ten no lie - LOL!

    1. Sounds like your husband enjoys testing people's limits Marisa!

  5. This is a clever ad campaign! I haven't been to Montana for several years, so I haven't seen these. I think I must suffer from directional dyslexia too. The most frustrating part is that I'm SURE I'm going the right way - and then I'm not. Love the last picture with your dog - it's gorgeous!

    1. I'm never, ever sure I'm going the right way Lana .... even just coming out of a store in the mall! The hike we took when that photo of our dog was taken was breath-taking. The height of wildflower season!

  6. Good piece, Susan. I never thought about really "getting lost" in Montana although we have a few times!

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