Anatomy of Greece’s tourism ads 2008

Greece tourism ads 2008

Some days ago Greece’s Tourism Development Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos introduced Greece’s tourist campaign abroad for the year 200 – just wanted to share my thoughts out-of-head:

1. As always in Greece’s advertising efforts, the GNTO has changed again the slogan – this year is “Greece – the true experience”. Changing the slogan every year is promising different things trying to sell the same thing. Thus it can gain little credibility. Slogans are the epitome of advertising, and slogans must be matained over time with consistency and persistency. They embody the brand’s promise and as such, Greece’s officials should stick to it, since Greece promises the same. Greece should discover its positionment and let the slogan circuncidate around it. If the positionment does not change, the slogan should not change either. Doing otherwise is overwriting past efforts.

2. Graphic wise, the ads aren’t too bad. I like the blue predominants – they convey ambiental Greece faithfuly – glorious blue skies and light-intensive sun. However, the font being used is, to say it short, crap. Bold, gigantic, offensive to the eye. It lacks personality and it lacks the Greek sense of equilibrium. It does not look Greek, it does not help the reader smell the flavour of Greece coming through the composition. Designers are visual communicators above all, and this font does not communicate the style of Greece’s soul. Also, the cursor arrow is also too big to my taste, but it’s not too bad if the CTA (call-to-action) the ad wants is make the reader visit the website (by the way, the website looks so 2004, but that’s another story).

However, on ad #1 the couple looking at the statue is too evidently posy and false. A perfect and uncredible pose in front of the photographer. For all those who go to Greece every year, to spot a couple dressed that way would be a real surprise. People go in shorts these days, not with that kind of suit. It has some kind of machoist subliminal message too – the girl is pretty but appears to have no idea of what the statues are – so the guy comes to help and explain it to her. The picture on ad #2 is great, absolutely. It vehicles the sense of freshness, the smell of the sea, fun and freedom sailing the Greek seas. Absolutely no objection – it is a very well-found pic to convey a true vacation experience in Greece. As for ad #3, is it me or the four people jumping are too large when compared to the waters? There is a sense of photoshopping going around in it. If it weren’t for that, it wouldbe a nice ad too. Fun and enjoyment in Greece’s crystal-clear waters. It has been already explored and it’s topical – but brands are constructed on well-managed topics and stereotypes so it’s good too.

3. Logomania. Oh no, God, Greeks have changed Greece’s logo again? Yes, they have. Don’t they know that if you are not persistent for at least over 10 years with the same logo it does not go anywhere? Logos need consistency, perdurability and persistance – otherwise do nothing. The logos are like a country’s flag – you have to stick with it and not change it every year, not even in a lifetime! Otherwise it’s all wasted money. The logo, by the way, is the worst logo I’ve seen in many years. It’s not identificative, it’s not descriptive, it’s not distinctive. It’s a shape, not a logo. It is devoid of any Greek spirit – no columns, no statues, no seas, no skies, no bouzouki – it is not Greek, it could be any country’s. It conveys nothing; it could be as much the logo of any third-rate tech company or of any supermarket chain. It is the worst marketing decision ever made by Greece’s tourism authorities in the last 25 years. The designer should be hanged, and the agency burnt down to the ground. Serious.

The guys at Daily FrappĂ© have also reviewed the ads with some interesting points too, but they feel more proud than I do. Maybe because I am too demanding? Don’t think so. Greece had in 2005 one of the best campaigns I’ve ever seen from any country, but in 2006, 2007 and 2008 there has been a smooth, yet evident downfall.