Tukwila: where metronaturals find world-class parking

Notes on the branding of ye olde suburb's centennial celebration.
Crosscut archive image.
Notes on the branding of ye olde suburb's centennial celebration.

The City of Tukwila began its centennial celebration last week.

According to their press release, the celebration is "focused on changing perceptions ... for years, Tukwila has been known primarily as the Southcenter Mall."

Appropriately, city fathers choose to hold the festivities in the Westfield Olympic Parking Structure in the Southcenter Mall. Apparently, Tukwila wants to be known for its parking structures as well as its mall.

At the event, Tukwila unveiled a new brand. Tukwila boasts that the "new brand was created by Exclaim, the marketing firm that helped develop Seattle's new travel and tourism brand, Metronatural."

(Was Exclaim also the firm that designed Sen. Larry Craig's "Wide Stance" and suggested that Ex-Sen. George Allen use the term "Macaca"?)

I never expected to see the term Metronatural again except in a criminal indictment:

The aforesaid embezzled the endowment of an orphanage, put razor blades in Holloween candy, trained the technical CSRs for Dell Computer, and, worst of all, attempted to foist the humiliating name "Metronatural" on the unsuspecting citizens of Seattle.

Tukwila's brand was definitely confused.

They have a long history of brand inconsistency. Scholars cannot agree whether the Duwamish word "Tukwila" means "Place of the Furniture Warehouses," "Valley of the Parking Structures," or "Gateway to the Magic of Tacoma."

Tukwila city fathers still can't agree.

The anarcho-syndicalist regime running Tukwila's centennial Web page lists brand values as Diversity, Community, and Pride.

The City's home page, controlled by Trotskyite deviationists, champions the brand values Quality, Service, Excellence, Respect, Caring, and Integrity.

The Mensheviks, in charge of Tukwila's Centennial at a Glance Web page, promote Vitality, Community, and Diversity.

They needed help to establish brand identity and brand consistency. That's why they hired Exclaim. And Exclaim did not disappoint.

Exclaim created a new logo and new brand: "Tukwila Life."

That's right. "Tukwila Life." Surely, this will change everybody's perception of Tukwila.

Maybe I should enter the branding business. I could have given them:

  • Tukwila: Where Metronaturals Find World Class Parking.
  • Tukwila: At least we're not Federal Way.
  • Tukwila at the Intersection of I-5 and I-405: The Perky Little Town That Invented Gridlock.

At the centennial celebration, Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton claimed that Tukwila is older than Seattle, having been settled by the Collins party, five months before the arrival of the Arthur Denny party.

This revelation will precipitate a revisionist earthquake at Crosscut. Writers who previously argued that everything has gone downhill since the Denny party arrived on Alki Beach in 1851 must now admit that the decay started five months earlier in Tukwila.

It may not affect the Crosscut core who contend that things have been going to hell since membranogenic amphiphilic molecules evolved chemically to form the complex phospholipid form, somewhere in Ballard, approximately 4.2 billion years ago.

"Everyone knew each other before the phospholipids arrived," one veteran notes, "and housing was much cheaper."


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