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Guest MINDSETTER™ Harry Adler: Dear Governor Raimondo

Friday, April 01, 2016


Governor Gina Raimondo

Dear Governor Raimondo,

I read with interest this morning that you stand behind the state's proposed new slogan & logo "Warmer & Cooler." You challenge skeptical Rhode Islanders (count me in) to rally around the new brand. You are quoted as saying, "We have to get past this persistent negativity. The negativity has held back Rhode Island for a long time."

Let me respond: I believe that I speak for many Rhode Islanders who are weary but who still hold onto a passionate love of our state. We look to you for reasons to feel a sense of optimism. 

When our money is so poorly spent, as it is with this nonsensical logo, it is deeply offensive to suggest that we should simply put our "negativity" aside and rally behind this new branding. Why should we? It is a flat-out failure. 

Do you know what makes me feel pessimistic? Reading this morning's paper and reading your defense of the slogan & logo. 

Defending it in the face of what I imagine would be over a 90% disapproval rating, had we been asked (we were not), is exactly what breeds negativity! 

Here is my view: You work for us, the citizens of Rhode Island. We are saying to you in no uncertain terms that the "Cooler & Warmer" slogan & logo is a misguided effort and a dreadful mistake. It doesn’t even begin, conceptually or graphically, to capture what makes Rhode Island so special. In fact, it does the opposite.

The solution is not taking a dismissive, patronizing stance by suggesting to the population that our well-considered concerns are "negativity." Rather, the solution is for you yourself to take a more positive, proactive approach by listening to and respecting our collective wisdom.

I think we all agree that growing the Rhode Island tourism industry makes total sense. Who knows what makes this state so amazing more than we do? When you hire an out of state firm to create a slogan & logo to help promote our state, here's what you've done:

- Spent too much money for an unacceptable product.

- Cast a "no confidence" vote in the local (and world class) design community.

- Produced a piece that feels as out of touch as you are when you minimize our multifaceted, well-articulated objections by labeling them as "negativity." 

You can win us back. It's not too late. Fix the video, kill the slogan & logo. In other words, listen to us .... and watch the optimism flow!


Harry Adler

President Adler’s Design Center and Hardware


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