by Jacki Mick
Artist Steve Lovelace tackled the project of determining which brand best represents each state and turning it into a colorful map. According to Lovelace, the brand that represents Florida the best is Hooters. Yes, the orange-shorts-and-tights wearing wing shack waitresses embody the most famous Florida brand.
We're not sure if we completely agree with this, because, while Hooters was founded in Clearwater in 1983, the six businessmen who started the franchise sold their rights to a group of Atlanta investors just a year later. The "original six" held on to franchise rights for stores in the Tampa Bay area, Chicago area and one in Manhattan. So, if we're gonna be picky, Hooters isn't so much of a Florida corporation as it is a Georgia one.
And there are so many other brands that scream "FLORIDA" that the artists could have chosen. I mean, what's more Florida than Publix (founded and headquartered in Florida, match)? Or you could look to our coast and choose Royal Caribbean International as our most representative brand, cause to a lot of people Florida = tourists. But it could be argued that RCI was founded in Norway, despite being headquartered in Miami. So, then we could go a little retro: Tupperware. The headquarters of what some might call the originator of the in-home selling party, has been right here in Orlando since 1958. Upon reflection, we're giving this one to Publix, cause even our tourists jones for a tasty Publix sub.
While we're slightly embarrassed that we're represented by Hooters on this map, we feel even more shame for Virginia, who is saddled with old-timey Internet provider AOL and Arkansas whose claim-to-brand-fame is Walmart.
And, it's important to note why our most Googled band, Disney, didn't even make our shortlist: its headquarters are in Burbank, California. Sorry about your luck, Mickey.