Mendte: Camden, New Jersey


NEW YORK, NY. (KPLR) – The garden state not only cleaning up from Sandy.  Camden, New Jersey may set a murder record.  

Larry Mendte looks at a PR campaign to clean up the city’s reputation.

If you don`t like the city or town you live in, remember it could be worse, it could be Camden, New Jersey.

Camden is the poorest city in the country and has a murder rate that puts it on pace to reclaim its title this year as the nation`s most dangerous city.

And that`s why a billboard put up on a highway outside Camden is getting so much attention

It reads ‘Say Something Nice About Camden’.

This is the brainstorm of an ad executive from New York with ties to Camden, who is also starting a social media campaign with the same theme.

And it is getting lots of responses like.

‘Um, I got nothing’.

‘At least it`s not Detroit’.

‘I came for the night life I stayed, well, because of the coffin’.

‘It rhymes with Ralph Kramden and I like him’.

And ‘I went and I’m not dead’.

Now the New York ad executive had good intentions and the billboard is getting a lot of attention, but let’s go over a couple of things, we`ll call it advertising 101.

When you create an ad campaign, the goal is to get people to think good thoughts about your product or city; when you create an ad that causes people to ridicule your city or product that is bad.

And that`s what is happening, the internet is bulging with Camden jokes.

Because this billboard cries out for sarcastic responses; like this one, if you`re an ad exec and you can`t come up with something nice to say, don`t look at me.

Here`s a suggestion, go back to the drawing board and promote the battleship New Jersey museum, the aquarium, the minor league baseball team or better yet, fix Camden so the next time you ask the question it won`t be seen as such a joke.