March 13, 2012 at 9:56 AM ET
It's a tough task to capture the appeal of a destination and plug 'em into a punchy slogan. Some slogans become real hits, and -- in the case of "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" -- go on to inspire movies ("The Hangover" franchise, for example).
Other catchphrases are forgettable or just plain odd, but all deserved a spot on our list of the most distinctive -- be they good or bad -- tourism slogans.
'I Love New York'
Only slightly more memorable than the VH1 reality show of the same name, I Love New York is the travel slogan all others can only hope to become. Created by Milton Glaser in 1977, the I (Heart) NY logo appears on everything from deli bags to the ubiquitous T-shirts folded in bulk outside of every Manhattan souvenir shop. The iconic logo is regularly riffed by cities around the world.
'South Africa: It's Possible'
Can't say it with 100 percent certainty, but it's possible. Sounds a bit vague, does it not? Looks like you'll have to rely on your own specific reasons for wanting to make the trip, because South Africa isn't giving you any with this slogan.
'Delaware: Small Wonder'
Just as "Sex and the City" attracted throngs of sassy travelers to shoe-shop in Manhattan, the state of Delaware has found similar success among robotic-child tourists, thanks to the critically acclaimed 1980s sci-fi/sitcom series "Small Wonder." Just kidding! We're pretty sure this refers only to Delaware's size.
But everyone knows that Rhode Island is our tiniest state, so it's a good thing that Delaware has moved on to a new state slogan: "It's Good Being First," emphasizing their place in history as the first state to ratify the Constitution. Also? They have great beaches!
'More Fun in the Philippines'
The latest campaign from the Philippine Tourism Board sure sounds unflappably cheery, but was soon eclipsed by a meme showcasing some of the … uh … bleaker aspects of local life. Say what you will but this is a big improvement from their previous ho-hum slogan, "WOW Philippines."
'You've Got a Friend in Pennsylvania'
C'mon, think! Think! Surely there must be someone you know living in Pennsylvania whom you could visit. It's a big state. Nobody springs to mind? Well, how about making a brand-new friend in Pennsylvania? Maybe you'll exchange Hershey's Kisses with a sweet stranger at Hersheypark, or meet a fellow Billy Joel enthusiast in Allentown. Afterwards you can take a trip together to the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, home of the Steelers. And then there's Philadelphia …
'Canada: Keep Exploring'
It's as if they're urging you to consider other vacation options: "Canada? Keep looking" or "Canada? Next!" Of course, this couldn't be further from the truth, as Canada -- the second largest country in the world -- is home to an expansive wilderness, beautiful coastlines, and hot spots such as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
'Virginia is for Lovers'
That's right, all you sad-sack single types. Don't dare come a knockin' when this state's a rockin'. Virginia has branded itself as the green M&M of America. And it was all by accident -- in the late 1960s, a series of ads geared toward beach lovers, mountain lovers and history lovers was deemed too specific. So as corny and cringe-worthy as this slogan may be, it sure does the trick for Virginia tourism.
'Oklahoma is OK'
It's not great, but -- meh -- it's OK, if you're into that kind of a thing. Doesn't exactly ring with enthusiasm, does it? Or maybe it's meant to allay concern, as in "Don't worry about us, we're OK."
Oh, Oklahomie. Instead of falling back on your abbreviation, why not talk up your history, and brag about your fertile land? What you lack in beaches, you make up for by being the only state to inspire a musical.
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