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nation brands

Canada Uses the Crowd to Bring In the Crowd

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 20, 2012 02:12 PM

The Canadian Tourism Commission must be sick of selling the same old images — charming as they are — of the cobblestone streets of Quebec City, Toronto’s CN Tower, Montreal’s cathedrals, Vancouver’s Lookout, people playing hockey or skiing, Mounties on horseback, and random creatures (moose! geese!) in the wild.

The CTC knew there was a lot more out there to sell but they didn’t have the resources to dig them all up and sift through every last thing so they got with the times and crowdsourced their efforts. And when Canada crowdsources, it doesn’t go halfway.

The CTC’s 35 Million Directors project last summer asked all of its residents to take pictures and video of the things they love about where they live and send them in. A wealth of new material, more than 8,000 entries, poured into the CTC’s offices and now the organization has debuted its first ad in the campaign, using material from its contributors.Continue reading...

nation brands

Nation Branding: North Korea Wants to Be "Full of Laughter" and Luxury Goods

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 5, 2012 03:04 PM

There’s a new sheriff in town in North Korea — supreme leader Kim Jong Un, who took over office when his father, Kim Jong-il, died last December — and he’d like the world to think that the nation isn’t half as bad as everybody thinks it is.

But now the son, who is in his late 20s, wants to shake things up and modernize the nation's branding. Since taking the reins, according to the UK's Daily Mail — which lifted the story from ABC News — “more women are wearing trousers, platform shoes and earrings, while more mobile phones have been made available.” Live it up, North Koreans! 

Pizza, hamburgers, and French fries, previously banned, have now been endorsed by the Supreme Leader, ABC noted, while kids have been given “free trips to zoos and amusement parks.”Continue reading...

nation brands

@Sweden - Sweden Builds Nation Brand on Twitter

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 20, 2011 02:04 PM

Imagine handing your Twitter account over to a stranger. Now imagine a country handing over its Twitter feed to a citizen. Crowdsourcing digital communications has reached a new level as @Sweden hands over the official Swedish Twitter account to one of its citizens for a week.

The social public engagement project, called Curators of Sweden, was devised by the Swedish Institute and VisitSweden, both part of NSU, the National Board for the promotion of Sweden.

“No one owns the brand of Sweden more than its people. With this initiative we let them show their Sweden to the world,” says Thomas Brühl, CEO of the country’s tourism agency VisitSweden who has been updating the account since January 2009.

Hasan Ramic (at top) is the Twitter citizen (or as we're calling it, Twitizen) of the week, who has been given access to Sweden's national Twitter account to share his recommendations and opinions (in English) about his country and his nine million Swedish brethren.Continue reading...

nation brands

'Cool Japan' Branding Evolves with Uniqlo Logo Designer and 'Japan Next'

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 19, 2011 04:34 PM

The Economist opined in April that the earthquake and tsunami had battered Japan's image, quoting a Western diplomat complaining, "People buy 'brand Japan' because it implies a premium—that the quality will be better, or the product is more reliable—and now they don't have that." Interbrand Japan noted in a post-crisis report that the impact on "Brand Japan" and "the effects of the disaster on perceptions differ greatly by country and by category."

Without a doubt, having been battered physically, economically and emotionally country, the nation is still rebuilding from the brutal earthquake on March 11 — which makes it high time to evolve the Cool Japan nation-branding campaign, which the Japanese government is ready to do following a logo search. “To say we’re going to rebuild doesn’t simply mean we should go back to the way things were,” said 46-year-old winning designer Kashiwa Sato to the Wall Street Journal.

Sata, the award-winning designer who created the distinctive logo for Uniqlo and designs for other Japanese brands including Honda, saw his design selected out of 99 submissions to represent “Cool Japan,” a government effort that pre-dated this year's natural disaster to help the rest of the world understand modern Japan.Continue reading...

nation brands

China Paints New York Red

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 18, 2011 05:00 PM


Timed to coincide with Chinese president Hu Jintao's three-day visit to the U.S. that kicked off today, a nation-branding campaign dubbed "Experience China" has taken over New York's Times Square even though Hu is in Washington for talks with President Obama.

The video billboard is running a promo, above, with China's traditional red and a Who's Who of VIPs. The 50 homegrown talents include Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, basketball star Yao Ming, movie director John Woo and astronaut Yang Li-wei.Continue reading...

nation brands

Smells Like Lithuania Spirit

Posted by Jennifer Sokolowski on January 7, 2011 10:00 AM

Shakespeare said that there was something rotten in the state of Denmark, but Lithuania is smelling quite lovely these days. Specifically, it's smelling like musk, cedar and sandalwood, the main scents of a new perfume created to represent Lithuania and named, imaginatively enough, "Lithuania."

According to the foreign ministry, the new perfume is "a good example of how to communicate Lithuania to the public in an innovative way." Bottles have been sent (scent?) to all foreign ambassadors in Vilnius and Lithuanian soldiers in Afghanistan, and plans are underway to distribute to Lithuanian embassies, hotels and airports.

The strong, woodsy ingredients of the perfume are intended to represent the Indo-European origins of the Lithuanian language as well as Lithuanian strength of character. Notes of wood fires have also been added to bring to mind "pagan rituals, as well as moss and wildflowers," Mindaugas Stongvilas, an expert in emotional communication behind the project, said. Pagan rituals?Continue reading...

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nation brands

Korea Aims to Build Brand at G20 Summit

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 5, 2010 03:00 PM

The fifth annual G20 Summit, taking place next week in Seoul, will aim to impress the Group of 20 world leaders and delegate with the country's high-tech advances — ultra-fast communication, portable broadband, Web-connected mobile television and other futuristic technologies — "that have become rather humdrum for Koreans," in one assessment.

KT, the nation's biggest broadband provider and telecommunications giant, will be handling the high-tech during the Nov. 11-12 G20 Seoul Summit and the corresponding global conference of global business leaders. Hyundai, meanwhile, is providing the official cars for delegates, including its luxury Equus brand and BlueOn electric vehicle, above.

It's also, naturally, an opportunity for nation-branding (more than half of Koreans expect the G20 spotlight to boost Korea's brand) and city branding, particularly in terms of the host city's arts and culture offerings. “The G20 summit will be a chance of a lifetime for Seoul to show off its global competitiveness,” the city's mayor, Oh Se-hoon, told reporters.

nation brands

World Cup Boosts Marketers, Not Africa

Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 25, 2010 12:05 PM

The upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa is a showcase for both international soccer (or football) stars and brands. As we've reported, such brands as Adidas and Nike will be competing head-to-head for brand bragging rights. 

But there is another aspect of the 2010 FIFA World Cup that often goes under-reported from a branding perspective: the continent selected for this year's tournament.

When it announced the World Cup slogan back in November 2007, FIFA said, "Africa is a continent with a rich reservoir of resources, but the continent's biggest asset by far is the warmth, friendliness, humility and humanity of its people. This was the inspiration for the Official Slogan of the 2010 FIFA World Cup: 'Ke Nako. Celebrate Africa's Humanity.' "

South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki, added at the time, "We want, on behalf of our continent, to stage an event that will send ripples of confidence from the Cape to Cairo -- an event that will create social and economic opportunities throughout Africa."

Sounds good, yet one has to wonder: what will the 2010 FIFA World Cup really do for Africa?Continue reading...

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