A ‘new and improved’ package does nothing to improve a harmful product


Arizona has a terrible national image. Our Republican politicians are standard fare for late night comedians. Arizona typically ranks last or close to last in all the categories that you want to be ranked first in, and ranks first or almost first in all the categories that you want to be ranked last in. This is not by coincidence. It is the result of very deliberate harmful policy decisions made by Republican politicians who have dominated this state for decades.

NewandImprovedSo Doug Ducey, the ice cream man hired by Koch Industries to run their Southwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Arizona, is turning to one of the oldest tricks of businesses selling a harmful product. Rather than change the product, they simply put their harmful product in a new package that declares “new and improved!” Enough of the gullible public might fall for the new packaging, and the marketing ad campaign promoting the “new and improved!” packaging (not the harmful product inside).

Howard Fischer reports today, Ducey looks to rebrand Arizona:

In the face of bottom-of-the-barrel classroom spending, massive cuts to universities and efforts to cut health care for the poor, the Ducey administration has decided what it needs to do is spend money to polish the state’s image.

Gubernatorial press aide Daniel Scarpinato said his boss and the Arizona Commerce Authority have hired a firm to talk with Arizonans to come up with the kind of catch phrase that has helped define other states, like “Don’t Mess With Texas” or “I (Heart) NY.” Scarpinato said the governor wants a single selling point for Arizona that covers everything from promoting tourism to getting companies to relocate here.

How about “Arizona, where even your idiot kid can grow up to be governor“?

Kathy Heasley, president of the Scottsdale-based firm that got the contract, said it will involve more than words. She also envisions creating a logo so that people instantly identify it with Arizona.

Heasley acknowledged that much of what is known about Arizona, particularly by outsiders, is because the state — and its politicians and laws and policies — often wind up as comedy fodder for late-night talk show hosts. But she said that’s not her concern.

“The key, really, is to be a positive voice and to put a positive voice out there,” Heasley said. She said this is all about “messaging.”

Um, sorry lady, but no. It is about harmful policy decisions being made by the politicians who govern this state. Putting lipstick on that pig is not going to improve the lives of any Arizonans, and is not going to fool any sophisticated business into moving here. God, I despise these Madison Avenue advertising types.

And [what about] the negative stuff?

“There isn’t a state in the union that doesn’t have issues,” Heasley said.

“No state, no entity, no company is going to be able to completely, 100 percent squelch all the commentary that might be made,” she said. “But what does need to happen is there needs to be a positive voice, a balanced voice that comes out there, too.”

If that sounds a lot like selling something like ice cream, that’s no accident: Heasley&Partners did the same thing for Cold Stone Creamery when Doug Ducey was its chief executive.

“There’s actually more similarities than there are differences,” said Heasley, whose firm describes itself as a “branding company.”
“People buy with their hearts and justify with their minds,” she said.

So how does Arizona get to this new message?

“First. we find the heart of the state or the organization or even the person,” Heasley explained. “We brand people, too.”

* * *

Next, said Heasley, is taking that “heart” and putting it into words.

“We develop the messaging,” she said. “Then you take the messaging and have to create and put that into imagery because 90 percent of the communications and the stimulus we get as human beings happens visually.”

That’s the logo.

Wow, what is this woman smoking? Don’t Bogart that joint!

ice creamThe governor’s press aide, “Douche-bag Danny” Scarpinato, the former political reporter hack who worked for the Arizona Daily Star before taking his GOPropaganda to the RNCC and the governor’s office, said “it’s just a coincidence that Heasley’s company, which did work for Ducey in his ice cream days, got the contract. He said it was awarded through a competitive bidding process.”

Yeah, sure it was. Just a coinkidink. Smells like crony capitalism for gov pals to me.

And here’s the best part: “no one could say what all this is going to cost. Commerce Authority spokeswoman Susan Marie said only that it will be done ‘well within the parameters of ACA’s existing marketing budget,’ which she did not disclose.” I’ll bet.

So how much of your tax dollars are these fools going to piss away on a new state slogan and logo to try to put lipstick on a pig, instead of addressing the state’s failure to pay the judgment it owes to the state’s school districts as restitution for years of theft from Arizona’s children? And what about the state’s other urgent needs?

To even suggest this “marketing strategy” is politically tone-deaf and just obscene. Are you going to stand for this? Contact the governor’s office and give him a piece of your mind.

h/t Ice Cream Truck graphic: beatofthedrum.buzznet.com.

Previous articlePolitical Calendar: Week of August 16, 2015
Next articleThe Wild & Scenic Film Festival
AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.


  1. How about arizona is mississippi west! Doug ducey got 70% of white vote. So did jan brewer. Goddard and duval kept trying to appeal to white voters who would vote for adolph hitler over mother theresa if he had an R by his name and promised not to raise taxes. The election of diane douglas shows how worthless arguments are. The answer 100 mexican kids turn 18 every day in arizona and randy parraz is trying to register them :but the rich old white democrats say if the hispanics take over the democratic party they will want to vote for hispanics in the primary not some rich old white fart on an ego trip!(fred duval)

Comments are closed.