How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

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Will
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How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

#1 Post by Will » Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:11 pm

The majority of comments by the readers of AdelaideNOw in response to the comments from Gladis-Nunn agree with the idea that we are a 'dead, dull and backwards' city. Furthermore this isn't the first time it has happened. Back when Victorian Premier Brumby called us a 'backwater' it was the same. In addition, as a young person I have to put up with comments from my friends as well as comments on places like facebook lamenting how boring it is to live here and how poeple can't wait to leave at the end of their degrees.

I think this is a major problem. It is not good enough to place our head in the sand and pretend this is just some harmless state to state rivalry. This is much more serious than that. The constant put-downs of Adelaide have reached an epidemic stage where they can no longer be dismissed. These put downs are incredibly damaging for our city. You only have to read a psychiatric, psychological or mental health journal to appreaciate the immense harm negative comments can do to a person's self worth. Likewise I propose that negative comments directed against a city can have very serious and negative conseuquences for the people of that city. In our case, almost every day we are told that we are too boring, too dull, too backwards. If we are told this every day, people are going to believe it. And in our case this is magnified by the fact that many of the people that say such things are community leaders and role-models. There is strong evidence to suggest that such constant negativity is responsible for the 'Adelaide inferiority complex' which is manifest in so many of our people.

However I do not think these stereotypes are true.

What do we have to do to lose these stereotypes?

I feel this thread is necessary, as sadly our political leaders have always dismissed this most serious of issues.

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Re: How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

#2 Post by Will » Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:26 pm

To kick start the discussion, some of the things that have come to my head include: eliminating height limits for the CBD core, and forcing the amalgamation of our local councils into 3 super councils.

The archaic CBD height limits, particularly those in the core are often used to attack Adelaide as backwards. By getting rid of them, I realize that 200m buildings will not pop up overnight as there is no demand at this stage, but I strongly believe that getting rid of them would send a strong message that Adelaide is not against progress and change.

Another obstacle facing Adelaide is the number of small councils governing our metropolitan area. Although people may disagree with me, I beleive that our local councils are another reason for our backwards tag. The fact that NIMBYs who campaign on one issue can still get elected by a mere 400 votes just confirms what i am saying. No amount of "we approved $1 billion worth of develoment" will be able to hide the fact that the ACC has councillors who complain that the Garden of Unearthly delights is too loud and against Colonel Light's wishes, or who think a 6 level building is too tall! And the problem does not lie solely in the ACC, other councils such as the one at Holdfast Bay are staffed by NIMBY's representing anti-development community groups. If we got rid of all the little villages governing Adelaide, I am certain that the votes of the NIMBY brigades would be diluted, reducing their negative influence, allowing people with a vision for Adelaide to be elected!

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Re: How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

#3 Post by omada » Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:42 pm

Maybe it is THEM that should lose the stereotype, I don't have a problem living here, and really there is nothing wrong with SA and Adelaide, ok it would be GREAT to have a denser CBD etc.. so i think it comes down to not really caring what a bunch of ignorant people are saying .. if they were comfortable with themselves and the cities that they live in why would they bother degrading Adelaide? They are only replicating a popular opinion, a stereotype, they have probably never even been here.

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Re: How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

#4 Post by jk1237 » Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:46 pm

well any visitors who actually make their way to Adelaide always seem pleasantly surprised by our city, so its attracting more people to Adelaide to get rid of this stereotype is the problem.
I wish our state govt tourism dept would find the most expensive advertising company to produce the best national TV adds. All we have ever done is show a middle aged couple consuming 'fresh food & wine' in a bed n breakfast. BORING, BORING, BORING.
The add needs to show a vibrant, cosmopolitan city centre, with quick snips of Rundle Mall, Rundle St East when busy, Fringe times, K W street trams, a busy Central Markets, North Tce cultural attractions, busy pubs, cafes, with a catchy song. Have we ever done this? Probably never. All we target is old couples from interstate who want to visit the Clare Valley, River Murray or Adl hills wineries to eat some cheese, in those SA shorts adds. It just compounds this stereotype. FFS, show a busy little city to make some 20-30 something olds say, oh Adelaide looks different, lets think of going there.

Seriously, sometimes I think the budget for our state tourism marketing dept is about $85 a year.

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Re: How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

#5 Post by Will » Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:08 pm

jk1237 wrote:well any visitors who actually make their way to Adelaide always seem pleasantly surprised by our city, so its attracting more people to Adelaide to get rid of this stereotype is the problem.
I wish our state govt tourism dept would find the most expensive advertising company to produce the best national TV adds. All we have ever done is show a middle aged couple consuming 'fresh food & wine' in a bed n breakfast. BORING, BORING, BORING.
The add needs to show a vibrant, cosmopolitan city centre, with quick snips of Rundle Mall, Rundle St East when busy, Fringe times, K W street trams, a busy Central Markets, North Tce cultural attractions, busy pubs, cafes, with a catchy song. Have we ever done this? Probably never. All we target is old couples from interstate who want to visit the Clare Valley, River Murray or Adl hills wineries to eat some cheese, in those SA shorts adds. It just compounds this stereotype. FFS, show a busy little city to make some 20-30 something olds say, oh Adelaide looks different, lets think of going there.

Seriously, sometimes I think the budget for our state tourism marketing dept is about $85 a year.
Great idea! I too have always wondered why our state tourism ads never show the Central Market, Moseley Sqaure on a sunny day, Rundle Street on a Friday or Saturday Night, the tram running through a busy KWS or North Terrace...

In fact with much regret I have to report that Tourism SA has still not seen the light judging by their latest 'Bob and Helen' campaign which shows a 50 something couple coming to SA to eat cheese.

In fact I've just had an idea. The ad would show small snippets of a busy Rundle Mall, Rundle Street, Central Market on a Saturday, our nice beaches on a summer day... and at the end of the ad, a voice would say: "yes, it's Adelaide!".

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Re: How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

#6 Post by bm7500 » Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:09 pm

Will wrote:
jk1237 wrote:well any visitors who actually make their way to Adelaide always seem pleasantly surprised by our city, so its attracting more people to Adelaide to get rid of this stereotype is the problem.
I wish our state govt tourism dept would find the most expensive advertising company to produce the best national TV adds. All we have ever done is show a middle aged couple consuming 'fresh food & wine' in a bed n breakfast. BORING, BORING, BORING.
The add needs to show a vibrant, cosmopolitan city centre, with quick snips of Rundle Mall, Rundle St East when busy, Fringe times, K W street trams, a busy Central Markets, North Tce cultural attractions, busy pubs, cafes, with a catchy song. Have we ever done this? Probably never. All we target is old couples from interstate who want to visit the Clare Valley, River Murray or Adl hills wineries to eat some cheese, in those SA shorts adds. It just compounds this stereotype. FFS, show a busy little city to make some 20-30 something olds say, oh Adelaide looks different, lets think of going there.

Seriously, sometimes I think the budget for our state tourism marketing dept is about $85 a year.
Great idea! I too have always wondered why our state tourism ads never show the Central Market, Moseley Sqaure on a sunny day, Rundle Street on a Friday or Saturday Night, the tram running through a busy KWS or North Terrace...

In fact with much regret I have to report that Tourism SA has still not seen the light judging by their latest 'Bob and Helen' campaign which shows a 50 something couple coming to SA to eat cheese.

In fact I've just had an idea. The ad would show small snippets of a busy Rundle Mall, Rundle Street, Central Market on a Saturday, our nice beaches on a summer day... and at the end of the ad, a voice would say: "yes, it's Adelaide!".
Exactly! All of the above is spot on. I travel interstate a fair bit and all that you see on TV about Adelaide is the major crimes that are reported in the news! No wonder people think we are backwards.

The "You Are Here" adverts for Adelaide were great! If this type of advert could be created to encompass the delights of the whole state, then we might be on a winner. But without doubt, much more needs to be done!
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Re: How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

#7 Post by Wayno » Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:30 pm

jk1237 - you are sooo right, and have you ever seen the "Postcards" TV show - snore! it's a terrible way to showcase SA and Adelaide. Keith Conlon should (nay must) be put in a nursing home. He looks about 60, and behaves like he's from the mid-1800's. Oooh look, a flower - let's travel 800km to see it - yay! :roll:

As Omada says, it's the AdelaideNow readers who are the problem in this specific case. Ignorant and stupid people who must be entertained (ooh please please me, make me happy!!) but obviously lack the ability to do so themselves. Wish i owned a gun.

I liked the "You Are Here" adverts so much that i bought the t-shirt. Also helps if i ever get lost :-)

Agree with everyone's comments about have interstate tourism adverts focused on 20-30yo people (at the markets, beach, northern lights, etc), as well as 40-50yo people (sipping wine and nodding knowingly).

Bottom line, "it's the economy stupid". More cash = more ability to build an invigorated environment. Cross all your digits, furrow your brow, and wish upon a star that BHP ramps up Olympic Dam quite quickly. It's simply a fact of life that a large percentage of the western population correlate financial success to happiness.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

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Re: How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

#8 Post by Norman » Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:19 pm

Unfortunately, I think the You Are Here ads were only broadcast in SA :(

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Re: How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

#9 Post by cruel_world00 » Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:51 pm

This is a f@#$%$#@ joke when we are actually concerned about comments made about us by the GOLD COAST.

Also, this is another thing that is wrong with Australia. Why are we fighting each other? It is childish idiocy.

*Can't believe he wasted even this much thought on the topic*

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Re: How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

#10 Post by frank1 » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:03 pm

I think that we only have the backwater tag largely because of the attitude of people that live here: we want better transport, better this, bigger that and if the governement says ok, they complain to no end. They want to have a country town feel, but at the same time be a vibrant progressive city like melbourne. Adelaide is like a small child. The other states just laugh at us bickering amongst our selves and only say what we already think about oursleves.
Last edited by frank1 on Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

#11 Post by Will » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:16 pm

cruel_world00 wrote:This is a f@#$%$#@ joke when we are actually concerned about comments made about us by the GOLD COAST.

Also, this is another thing that is wrong with Australia. Why are we fighting each other? It is childish idiocy.

*Can't believe he wasted even this much thought on the topic*
I personally do not care what people on the Gold Coast or any other place for that matter say about us.

What I do care about is the fact that we are losing 3000 people, mostly young professionals to other states. And I beleive that many of these people left because due to the constant bombardment of negative stereotypes they gradually came to believe that Adelaide is a dull backwater with no future.

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Re: How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

#12 Post by Somebody » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:49 pm

Find something that people will remember Adelaide by. People remember crappy Melbourne as the sporting capital (yuck - sport), Sydney as the city with a harbour, Gold Coast with the beaches, Perth as modern and Adelaide as what.. a vanilla flavoured city with pink icing? :?:
The Gold Coast - Australia's centre for insipid, tacky & boring.

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Re: How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

#13 Post by Shuz » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:03 pm

Adelaide hasn't exactly capitalised on our assets unfortunately, which is something people should take more pride in.

Our Adelaide Oval - supposedly the world's most pictureseque ground?
Our stunningly beautiful summer afternoons and sunsets at Glenelg Beach?
Our amazingly vibrant festival season - Mad March, with the Fringe, Clipsal, Womad, Arts Festival, etc? The city is alive with the sound of music!
Our well-earned repetiore for alfresco entertainment, resturant dining, backyard barbeques?

And I think pretty soon, we'll be the envy of the nation with the best public transport system - new trams and trains.

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Re: How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

#14 Post by Somebody » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:05 pm

Adelaide won't have the "best" system in Australia when electrification is done - it'll just be up to the standard of the others.

On an international scale, all Australian cities have poor public transport.
The Gold Coast - Australia's centre for insipid, tacky & boring.

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Re: How do we lose the 'boring & dull' stereotype?

#15 Post by paul » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:31 pm

I think we're often too quick to dismiss criticism of Adelaide as being uninformed or based on ignorance. True in many cases I'm sure, but we need to understand what drives people's perceptions, as it seems many people are drawing the same conclusion. For me the CBD is the single most important factor in determining one's perception of Adelaide. There's plenty to be said about the CBD and how it compares to other cities but just a couple of thoughts:

- I feel the CBD lacks an entertainment hub or focal point. I'd love see a river bank development along the Torrens, but it would need to be on a sizeable scale to have that all important critical mass (perhaps combined with shops, apartments, or even office accommodation). Another option along the same theme would be a more boutique style development where the parade grounds are now - divert the river towards government house (which would be used for other purposes) to create an inner harbour style development surrounded by restaurants, bars, shops, plazas etc (this location would benefit from the proximity of the city's major shopping and office locations)

- someone made a point about height limits. I couldn't agree more. I think many people interpret a city's skyline (quite reasonably) as a measure of prosperity. Every time you see someone from Adelaide being interviewed on TV you see the city's skyline, which hasn't changed noticeably since 1987 and is looking very tame. I think a more exciting skyline would be a major image boost to the city and help change peoples’ perceptions about Adelaide.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing for me, is that there doesn't seem to be any sort of vision for development in the city.

We need to tackle the criticism head on, and if it’s justified work towards making changes.

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