Place Branding Study
For cool hunters everywhere, Fargo-Moorhead, an emerging epicenter and a powerhouse of young, highly-educated talent, is a gust of fresh air across the Great Plains creating a dynamic energy and crafting a lasting connection with each guest.
Few tourism destinations have received as much acclaimed exposure in the movies and television as Fargo, North Dakota. And while Fargo does have some of the quirky optimism and interest of the movies and shows by the same name . . . it is so much more. In fact, over the last decade Fargo has acquired a kind of under the radar cool that can only happen when a small prairie town has a thriving, edgy arts district. And when the Misfit Conference chooses to make your city one of its host towns. And when the “oh so particular” cool seekers nationwide start whispering your name as one of the places to be. The challenge: How to capture this cool in a way that doesn’t end up destroying it.
Fargo’s vibe is completely uncontrived. It comes from being absolutely itself and anything but normal. . . Quirky and one-of-a-kind. Creative and kooky. Misfit and maverick. Even more conventional pursuits like shopping and sports feel completely different when experienced through the prism of Fargo's unique light. Contrast all this attitude with Fargo’s location in typically conservative and conventional North Dakota and you’ve got something pretty special.
Fargo is located north of the vast majority of the nation. And Fargo is certainly not normal. So the strapline “North of Normal” serves double duty as a geographic identifier and an attitudinal definer. A simple arrow takes the place of the “A” in Fargo and points north while its placement . . . out of line with the rest of the word . . . let’s you know that Fargo is anything but mainstream. Creative work uses bright interesting colors and compelling color screens to grab the viewer’s attention. Unique headlines are paid off by an unexpected twist in the photography making Fargo’s tourism messaging at once intellectual and hilarious. Unexpected twists are carried through in merchandise, guerilla marketing and infrastructure.