OK, this takes a bit of explaining. The ad agency Young & Rubicam held a bracket-style tournament called "Brand Madness" - and "New Orleans" (the brand, not the city or its people) beat out a field of 63 other contenders that included Boeing, Walmart, Starbucks and Coca-Cola

How was this measured? By something called the "Y&R BrandAsset™ Valuator":

The Y&R BrandAsset™ Valuator shows realistic prospects for brands. This is because the Y&R BrandAsset™ Valuator measures the value of a brand where it is created: in people’s hearts and minds.

With the Y&R BrandAsset™ Valuator, we have the world’s largest study on brands and their relationship to people. More than 700,000 people in 49 countries have now been surveyed about more than 44,000 brands. In Germany, information has been collated on more than 1,500 brands through six basic studies.

This may be better understood with a chart:



here are the brackets

 - the Southern regional bracket, in which "New Orleans" competed with NASCAR and Whole Foods, among others, and the final bracket, where New Orleans triumphed over, of all things, Facebook:

Mediabistro summed it up this way:

Y&R had this to say about the results: “Adults surveyed find NOLA very authentic, daring, dynamic, and energetic - attributes highly correlated with Differntiation. Facebook is strong on these metrics too, but that fractional edge put New Orleans over the top. Does that mean Americans are quitting Facebook to move to New Orleans? Probably not. But perhaps we’ll see a rise in selfies taken on Bourbon Street.”

We haven't had so much talk about New Orleans' "brand" since 2007. Perhaps this is the New Orleans 2.0 version of 

"keeping the brand out there."