Tourist board apologises for sexualising Canadian city’s name
A Canadian tourist board has apologised for sexualising a city’s name.
In a rebranding move, the tourism agency for Regina, the capital of Western Canadian province Saskatchewan, shared a video on social media last Thursday to announce Experience Regina would be its new name.
The tourist organisation was previously known as Tourism Regina.
Lines heard within the music video include: “Show us your Regina”, clearly playing on the fact that the city name rhymes with the word “vagina”.
Another describes Regina as “the city that rhymes with fun.”
The video shows musicans playing at different tourist locations, such as the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, the Conexus Arts Centre and The Hotel Saskatchewan.
The social media post includes the caption: “Our City has been living this brand for a while now, and we thought it was time to own it.”
“No more pretending who we aren’t,” it continues, adding that by “embracing who we are, this means out with the old and in with the new!”
The video was met with anger online, and some users referred to it as “misogynistic.”
“Show us your Regina. Really. That’s the best we can do, female anatomy humour to promote our city?,” one Facebook user said.
“Juvenile and cringe-level branding,” another commented, while someone else said: “We will see how funny this is the first time a woman is assaulted and asked to ‘show us your Regina’.”
Experience Regina has since apologised for the post.
A statement from Tim Reid, CEO of Experience Regina said: “I want to start by apologizing, on behalf of myself and our team, for the negative impact we created with elements of our recent brand launch.
“There was such positive feedback around Experience Regina; however, it was clear that we fell short of what is expected from our amazing community with some of the slogans that we used.
“Regardless of our intent, the impact is valid, and for that we apologize.”
Inspiration for the Experience Regina rebrand appears to have been taken from a YouTube video with the same name that went viral in 2008 and has since been featured in the film Deadpool and on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show.
This satirical tourist board video was created by a pair of American travellers after visiting the city.
It focuses on Regina tourist spots, as well as random inclusions such as a seagull, a house, a helicopter and some geese. A man sings “experience Regina” over and over on top alongside a musical accompaniment, while a woman’s voice can also be heard talking about the city’s attractions.
The YouTube video has had over 700,000 views and one user wrote: “This advert was a perfect balance of what Regina offers. All the bells and whistles of what a bigger city offers but played in a flat key.”
The Independent has contacted Experience Regina for comment.