Experience Regina apologizes following criticism over 'offensive' slogans
Some residents of Saskatchewan's capital city have been vocal with their disapproval of Tourism Regina's latest rebrand, prompting an apology from the organization.
Tourism Regina, now named ‘Experience Regina’ as of March 16, is seeking to own a crude joke that has followed the Queen City for many years.
The joke, of course, being that “Regina” sounds a little like “vagina.”
The phrase ‘Experience Regina’ originally stemmed from a 2008 viral hit on YouTube.
The video featured a slideshow of Regina related google image results and a synth-wave score, seemingly posing as a low-budget tourism promotion film.
The song’s only lyrics aside from some spoken dialogue? ‘Experience Regina’ for two minutes and twenty-seven seconds.
With almost 700,000 views to date, the video has kept popping up. Popularized by everything from TSN to Jimmy Fallon in the 14 years since its release.
“Our City has been living this brand for a while now, and we thought it was time to own it,” a tweet from Experience Regina read.
However, not all residents in the Queen City are entirely okay with the change, claiming that other associated slogans with the campaign such as ‘Show us your Regina’ and “The City that Rhymes with Fun” are inappropriate.
However, with the criticism, came messages of support for the overall change in tactics for tourism in the Queen City.
In a post following the announcement, Mayor Sandra Masters called the new branding “fun, genuine, and bold.”
“Its realigned vision focuses on playing where we excel, and leaning in so that we can seize every opportunity that comes our way and build a stronger tourism economy," the post read.
"I can't wait to see this new brand in action. Thank you to the Experience Regina team for your leadership, passion, and commitment to encouraging the world to experience our city.”
In response to the criticism, Tim Reid, CEO of Experience Regina, released a statement Sunday afternoon, thanking community members for their feedback and apologizing for any negative impacts caused by some of the slogans.
"Thank you for using your voice, thank you for holding us accountable, and thank you for allowing us to be better," the statement read.
"There was such positive feedback around Experience Regina; however, it was clear that we fell short of what is expected from our amazing community with some of the slogans that we used. Regardless of our intent, the impact is valid and for that we apologize."
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