Mayo, Florida, holds the Mayo, at least for a few days.
The mayor of this tiny town of less than 1,500, where Florida's panhandle is turning into a peninsula, announces Saturday that the city is changing. It's a joke.
The name change began as a secret, winking marketing proposal for Kraft's own mayonnaise alternative. Videographers for Miracle Whip on Saturday wanted to capture the shock of the residents when they learned that their city's name would be turned into a corporate brand. Representatives of the spice planned to film their jokes during the next few days, inducing residents to remove mayonnaise from their homes.
The elected representatives of the city say that they will let inhabitants after a few days, but not on the street on the joke. Signs and the name on the water tower are switched off. Halfway between Tallahassee and Gainesville, the city receives between $ 1
In an interview with The Associated Press, Mayo's mayor ran into the concept and insisted that it would be a good idea to have the name permanently changed.
"We will not be boring Mayo anymore, we will be a miracle whip!" Said Ann Murphy. "I definitely think that will put us on the map."
The scribe Linda Cone confirmed that the name change is a joke and acknowledged that in such a small town it will probably not take long. "Everyone knows everyone, it was difficult to keep everything a secret," Cone said.
The mayor said the members of the city council had secretly discussed the deal with Miracle Whip during a closed session because secrecy was needed to achieve the surprise that Miracle Whip intended to capture. However, a closed session would violate Florida's Sunshine Law, which requires that public gatherings be held only under certain conditions, according to revelatory attorney Barbara Petersen.
"If all this is a big joke to the residents, then I suspect they probably violated the law to enforce it," said Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation. "I hate being Debbie Downer, but seriously, I do not think they thought it through."
The city got its original name from a Colonel James Mayo, and it is the county seat of Lafayette County, Florida's second-least populated county. Perhaps her greatest fame is the hometown of Kerwin Bell, a former quarterback of the University of Florida. The largest employer in the area is a state prison.
Other small cities have changed their names to brands, some temporary and others permanent.
In 1950 Hot Springs, New Mexico, renamed itself Truth or Consequences New Mexico to get the game show from the city. Granville, North Dakota, temporarily became McGillicuddy City, North Dakota in the 1990s, after the city's mint brand dealer paid $ 100,000. In 2010, Topeka, Kansas, temporarily changed its name to Google, Kansas, in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the company to install a superfast broadband network.
"I think people thought it was funny and forward-looking," said Carole Jordan, an executive in the League of Women's Voters in Topeka.
Branded name changes do not work for every city, said Chantal Panozzo, chief content officer for brand consulting. She said a successful example was North Tarrytown, New York's move to Sleepy Hollow in the mid-1990s, to honor its roots as the setting for Washington Irving's story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."
"If the city or corporation is just looking for prominence, publicity, or money without considering what the alignment of the name really means, then it's not a real branding," Panozzo said. "It's just a trick or a desperate call for money."