Chicago and New York had their cows, Norfolk its mermaids and
Toronto its moose. Now Omaha has drafted artistically embellished 'J.
Doe' statues to pop up across the city this summer, in an attempt to
jazz up the streets.
Last year, city leaders hired a research firm to find out what Americans
thought about Omaha. People just don't think about the city much at all,
it turns out. So PR, advertising and travel marketing agencies were
hired to build Omaha an image before its new convention center opens in
The city's new tag line, 'Omaha: Rare. Well done,' plays on its beefy
reputation. But since the cow thing is now too well done, locals chose
to artistically depict the friendliness of Midwestern citizenry. 'We
wanted to get away from the animals or the inanimate type objects and
come up with the gender-neutral concept to give artists more
flexibility,' explained Tim McNeil, manager of the local convention and
A hundred figures adorned with everything from flowers to bison will
greet Omaha visitors beginning next week.
Personally, we just think they're a bit scary. But then, so's the
thought of a trip to Omaha.