Archetypes or stereotypes?

Ottawa ad campaign

In the intricate dance of place branding, merely twirling to the tune of stereotypes often leaves cities spinning in circles. With 86% of place branding projects failing, it's high time cities looked inward, seeking their true archetypes— their unique, universal narratives. Take Ottawa's attempt to reshape its 'boring city' stereotype through advertising. Instead of straining to change perceptions—an endeavor as fruitless as convincing a lifelong cat person to favor dogs—cities should excavate their archetypal stories, just as Washington DC, Minsk, and Izmir have done. Through their efforts, these cities have painted vibrant, authentic narratives that resonate deeply, turning their stereotype 'shadows' into archetypal 'light.' In this quest, remember: a city, like its people, is a tapestry of stories—your stereotype is merely a single thread, not the entire weave.