Monday, July 9, 2007

Why Berywn? No, really, seriously. Why?

I swear, sometimes these posts write themselves.

So, I'm walking back to work on Harrison Street after lunch today in near-downtown Chicago, when I spot a large billboard advertising for the western suburb of Berwyn, y'know, to get people excited about living, working, playing there.

This is the slogan for their new ad campaign -- "Why Berywn?"

I'm not an ad man. I know very little about marketing and public relations.

One thing I do know, however, is that if you are marketing something, whether it be a new toothpaste, or a suburb that is poked fun of mercilessly by a local TV personality, is that you don't just have the name of the product preceded by "Why".

If the advertiser has to ask you, the consumer, "Why [my product]?" there is something seriously wrong going on with the product they are selling.

Do they have a website? Why, yes they do!

But why visit it? Why?


Becca said...

I admit it, the first time I read Berwyn in this post the Svengoolie bit rushed right into my head. Damn I loved Son of Svengoolie as a kid and still love to see Rich Koz now and again on TV.

Ah the joys of growing up in Chicago.

Splotchy said...

Ah, if only I too was born in the Chicagoland area.

I only caught Son of Svengoolie much later, but was happy to have seen it at all.

The best I could do as a kid would be to get the Bozo show on WGN.

Joe said...

Why the hell NOT?

Johnny Yen said...

I love Son of Svengoolie.

I was born in Berwyn. My family actually lived in Lagrange, Illinois at the time, but I was born at Macneal Memorial Hospital in Berwyn.

When I was in college, and conversations would turn to where you were born, I'd say "Berwyn," and suddenly I'd be surrounded by people shouting "Berwyn! Berwyn?" I didn't understand it until I finally saw Son of Svengoolie.

I am old enough (46) to remember Svengoolie, who was played by Jerry Bishop, a local tv personality.

One day, I was visiting my folks on break from college and was watching Son of Svengoolie and he did a bit about a "froggy-masher." ("1. Place frog on spot 2. Slam down cover.") My father happened to be in the room at the same time, and thought it was the funniest thing he'd seen on tv since Saturday Night Live's "Bass-o-matic."

Johnny Yen said...

Forgot to add this: until fairly recently, I taught in Cicero, the town right next to Berwyn. My friend Paul, the art teacher at my old school, moved there. It's an increasinly interesting mix in Berwyn. A lot of young married couples are moving there because it's relatively safe and clean, and a lot of latinos are moving from Cicero to get away from the increasing gang problem there. It's probably actually a pretty interesting place to live right now. And they still have the annual Houby Festival, the Czezh homage to mushrooms.

Splotchy said...

bubs, indeed, why the hell not?

MizSplotchy and myself actually looked at Berywn when we were house-hunting. Berwyn is stuffed to the gills with the brick bungalow that is MizSplotchy's dreamhouse. The only thing that kept us from moving there were the ratings of its public schools. Whether the data we were reviewing was accurate is debatable, I guess, but the public educational systems of the various 'burbs we looked at did definitely affect where we ended up buying.

jy, never heard of that Houby festival. Sounds pretty freaking cool! As far as the makeup of Berwyn goes, my brother just bought a house there, and my wife knows a couple of hipster-types who have moved there, too. But, still, why Berwyn?