Nation Branding Lab


Tag: brand management

Australia’s ‘EntertaiNation Branding’

If you remember, the film Australia, released back in 2008, was starred not only by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, but also by Australia and its natural environment. The movie was a success in terms of sales and revenue and many nominations and the awards it had won.

It was the result of the close, clever cooperation among the Tourism Australia, Image of Australia Branch under the government,  film director Luhrmann, and the film corporation 20th Century Fox. The movie proves that if a nation’s government works closely with the entertainment industry to brand the nation’s image, it could result in the most visually scintillating projection of the nation’s image.

This campaign titled, “See the Movie, See the Country”, which turned the film into “a real-life travel adventure” shows how popular culture and entertainment can be an important tool for country brand standing.

Official trailor of the film Australia from Youtube

Brand North Korea

If we define branding as the  process of creating a unique name and image of a product in the minds of people, North Korea may have the best nation branding strategies (IN THEIR OWN WAY).

However, having a powerful brand does not imply that the brand is good. North Korea’s brand is powerful because almost everyone associates the country with extremely negative attributes such as poverty, nuclear weapons, lack of human rights, military government, and an insane leader.

To make it short, North Korea has a powerful and bad brand. Being widely known as a nation does not mean it has a good brand just like the way really really bad manufactured products are.

China’s Campaign Lacks Truthfulness

Back in January, I wrote about the nation branding campaign of China in Time Square of NYC. In the article I talked about the possible conflict between China’s current branding strategy and the government’s integrity.

China’s recent diplomacy contradicts its endeavor to re-brand itself with soft-power. It proves that their branding campaign lacks transparency and truthfulness. While China tries to appear to be open, inviting, and friendly on the global stage, its government continues to keep its odd criteria of censorship on the Internet and speech, human rights on its people, and foreign policy on its neighbors.  With these negative attributes, the new image China wants to promote is never attainable.

Below is the link to an article from Human Rights Watch. Australian Prime Minister Gillard expresses her concern over the serious human rights problems in China as she visits the country.

A Good Nation Brand

What makes a good nation brand?

First, a good nation brand would have to serve a practical initiative. In other words, a good nation brand helps the govenment to better manage the nation’s image it wants to project to the world. A good nation brand helps the government generate the political and economic capital it desires.

However, there is something more to a nation brand than a practical purpose. Like any good brand should be able to elicit emotional attachment from its users, a good nation brand needs the power to attract people across the world in its own unique way. The key to generate this emotional attachment can be done not only by enhacing the nation’s reputation with its economy, politics, history, and culture, but also by naturally forming the intergrity of the nation. This is the difficult part that requires time. This integrity can be created when the nature of the people of the country and actions of the government correlate with the image the nation tries to construct.


“So, Where The Bloody Hell Are You?”

How can a country like Australia fail to attract tourists?

Coral reef, Sydney Opera House, Harbor Bridge, and the Kangaroos… Australia is one of the countries that  have successfully unified its image as a vacation destination with its national image.

However, a few years ago Australia’s the “Where The Bloody Hell Are You?” campaign, one of its most ambitious campaigns, proved that Australia, too, can lose tourists. Tourism Australia spent $180 million Australian dollars to execute this campaign, targeting mainly United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany from 2006 to 2007.

I can see the ad’s effort to radiate the sense of youthfulness and freedom, especially when the girl on the beach says with a smile,  “So where the bloody hell are you?.”

Unfortunately, the attempt brought adverse responses from other countries, leading both England and Canada to ban the commercial. The problems were the word ‘bloody’ and the implication of unbranded alcohol consumption from the line “We’ve poured a beer” respectively.

Consequently, Australia had to suffer unexpected degradation of its image along with a decreasing number of tourists. Maybe Australia was a bit too bloody friendly to strangers.

(Video & Pictures : YouTube,

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