Hong Kong is a startling place to live. It has the most number of restaurants and Rolls-Royce's per capita in the world. Its name in English means "Fragrant Harbour", which is a bit generous. It has the world's longest outdoor escalator. Three-quarters of its land mass is rural, and it consists of 235 islands. It is constantly on the move, is a rich mix of Chinese, colonial and cosmopolitan and intersperses traditional streetside wet markets with some of the world's tallest buildings. I stopped off in the city on my way to live in New Zealand 21 years ago and never left. It captivated me. Love it or loathe it, Hong Kong is a living brand.
I remember a TV commercial when I first got here that used the phrase "Wonders Never Cease", I thought then how appropriate it was for this city. Hong Kong doesn't do things by halves, and that line seems perennially apt. Yet since then we've had a bucketload of other daft phrases to try and express what the Hong Kong brand is all about. Let me see now. "Live It, Love It", "We Are Hong Kong, City of Life", "Hong Kong Will Take Your Breath Away", "There's No Place Like Hong Kong", and of course we've been encumbered with "Asia's World City" for a while now. I'd like to propose another: "Hong Kong: City of More Daft Slogans than Any Other Territory or City on the Planet".
This got me thinking about how other cities and countries go about representing their brands. Probably top of the list in Asia in terms of longevity is Malaysia's "Truly Asia". India's "Incredible India"and Thailand's "Amazing Thailand" have also being doing the rounds for a while. Then you've got some quirky ones in the mix _ Bangladesh's "Come to Bangladesh before the Tourists" has a certain self-deprecating but equally "Why are there no tourists?" charm.
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