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Mike Polk Jr. has some thoughts on Ohio's new, old, slogan

Previously, “Ohio, The Heart of it All” was used to promote tourism between 1984 and 2001. It's back again in 2023.

CLEVELAND — Last week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that after months of research and brainstorming to come up with a new state tourism slogan, they’ve decided to reintroduce an old favorite that we used from 1984-2001, “Ohio. The Heart Of It All”.

Many of you might not have even been aware that “Heart of it All” ever went away, but it did.  Our slogan since 2015 has actually been “Ohio. Find It Here.” It was never really made clear what the “It” was that we were looking for but I guess we must have found it because that slogan is now done-zo, and we’re going back to the heart thing. 

Now, coming up with a new state slogan that makes everybody happy can’t be easy. I mean, how do you effectively summarize the philosophy of a diverse state of 12 million people, many with conflicting values?

Well, apparently the key is that just you don’t even try to do that. Instead you bring back a familiar slogan that everyone’s already used to because they’ve been hearing it and seeing it on coffee mugs since Hill Street Blues was on the air.  

I’m not saying that returning to “Heart of It All” was a bad move. I’m not saying it’s a bad slogan. And I certainly don’t EVER want to know how much taxpayer money was spent on the outside marketing team that pitched our old slogan to us AND sold us on it. Best not to think about it.

I mostly just want to know if any of the suggestions that I formally submitted to the state were even considered or whether the fix was in from the jump. Because frankly, I felt like a few of mine deserved some consideration. In fact, here I’ll share a few and let you be the judge.

  • Ohio: The First Line Of Defense Against Canada
  • Ohio: Moving’s A Big Hassle, So Just Keep Living Here
  • Ohio: Periodic Home of LeBron James
  • Ohio: Because Your Aunt Lives Here
  • Ohio: Iowa With A Rock Hall
  • Ohio: No Longer A Swing State, So The Pressure’s Off
  • Ohio: Welcome To Cold Florida

Now I obviously think those are all dynamite, but I acknowledge my bias and I’m no sore loser. So I’m fine with returning to “Heart of it All” and I understand the appeal.

Though I will point out that when your state has developed a bit of a reputation for being, at best, stuck in the past and at worst, actively attempting to legislate its way back there, one could argue that it might behoove us to mix it up our branding a little bit rather than relying on the classics.

But at the same time, there’s a reason that The Eagles still play Hotel California when they tour. People love the hits. Maybe it’s just that simple.

Regardless, welcome back "Heart of It All." May your second term be fruitful.

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