I am so very proud to have grown up on a farm just outside of Tisdale, Saskatchewan. I have always said Tisdale is the perfect sized rural town – small enough to still feel small town, large enough to have all the amenities you really need. Like many Saskatchewan towns, Tisdale thrives on agriculture. The schools are full of farm kids, and the businesses rely on farm families as customers.
I travel across Western Canada speaking about agriculture, and why farmers need to share their stories with the public. I consider myself to be an Agvocate – someone who speaks positively for agriculture. One of the (many) reasons I still feel so connected to my hometown is that Tisdale, and it’s unconventional slogan, made me an Agvocate long before it was even a word.
You see, Tisdale’s slogan “Land of Rape and Honey” was always something people talked about. There were great conversations had from Toronto to Saskatoon about it. I have been explaining the connection between rapeseed and canola for decades.
Rapeseed and its more popular cousin canola (see the difference between the two here), grow incredibly well in the Tisdale area. Grain farmers have grown both crops here with huge success. Rapeseed and Canola are a beautiful yellow flowered crop. And guess who loves flowers? Yep, honeybees. Beekeepers are abundant in the Tisdale area, due in large part to vast fields of rapeseed and canola that the bees thrive on, producing some of the best darn honey in the world! (I may be a little biased here…)
Tisdale has now changed their slogan. Their Land of Rape and Honey days are over. They have reacted to the questions and side-eye glances by removing the controversy, and it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart because I am a proud farmer. Proud of what I grow and proud to answer any questions about it. It breaks my heart because I am a proud Tisdale girl. Proud of my roots, proud of my homeland, and proud to answer any questions about it. And finally, it breaks my heart because I am a proud marketer. I love all things marketing, and how words can move mountains. And in my mind, this slogan change is not a good marketing move.
The purpose of a town slogan is to make your town memorable. To make it stand out from the thousands of other small rural communities. I think everyone can agree that Land of Rape and Honey accomplished this. From PEI to BC, I have had people ask where I am from, and when I say Tisdale, more often than not they immediately respond with the infamous slogan. Love it, hate it, understand it or not, Tisdale’s slogan was MEMORABLE. It was unique, applicable, memorable and often spoke of. All things of a perfect marketing campaign.
Can we say the same about their new slogan?