Nation Branding Lab

A WINDOW INTO HOW CITIES, DESTINATIONS, AND NATIONS LIVE THEIR BRANDS

Tag: Public relations

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

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.

http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/04/23/australia-gillard-should-spotlight-rights-regression-china

“It’s Possible” Campaign: South Africa

Today, I’d like to take a look at South Africa’s “It’s Possible” tourism campaign that won Africa’s Leading Marketing Campaign 2009. This campaign was meant to promote the nation’s image before the World Cup 2010 that South Africa successfully hosted. I have three videos from the campaign below and there are a few things that I found to be impressive.

The Narration : The voices strike the audience with breathtaking experiences in South Africa. Another effective strategy that caught my eye is the emphasis of ‘possibility’. The campaign highlights the indefinite possibilities provided by South Africa’s compelling natural beauty, culture, and history.

As Travelers, Not As Tourists : “It’s Possible” campaign is also unique in that it treats the audience(or the potential visitors) as travelers, not as tourists. The videos highlight South Africa’s landscape and wild life of natural environment and adventure sports that are perfect for unforgettable memories and self-reflection.

In this video, we can see a mix of exotic African charm with a modern flare.

This video emphasizes South African people’s hospitality.

The “It’s Possible” campaign makes travel a communication with the destination that shape the traveler’s identity. This campaign successfully positions South Africa as an exotic escape where travelers can enjoy diverse activities and become empowered from their experiences.

South Korea Finally on Its Way

South Korea currently ranks 44th in FutureBrand’s 2010 Country Brand Index, and 33rd in Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index. Definitely not a satisfactory record for a country that has risen as a 13th largest economy and successfully hosted the Olympics, World Cup, and G20 Summit. However, I can’t say that South Korea had failed in building a nation brand because it just began working on it.

[G20 Seoul Summit 2010]

Considering the fact that South Korea was one of the most impoverished nations in the world only 50 years ago after Japanese colonization and devastating Korean War, the status of Korea’s nation brand is still a commendable feat.

[South Korean streets after the Korean War]

Consider this. It is a common sense that when you are in an emergency situation, you are not likely to care how you look or what people think about your appearance. When you finally settle of your problem and find yourself in a stable situation, then you look at yourself in a mirror and say to yourself, ‘’Wow..I gotta fix my hair”. This is where South Korea stands right now.

Only two years ago, South Korea officially launched PCNB (The Presidential Council on Nation Branding) with a goal of enhancing its global reputation and the awareness of its culture in the world. Currently, South Korea has developed as a stronghold of trendy TV shows, movies, and music in East Asia. This phenomenon, called Korean Wave or Hallyu, has set fire on Korea’s aggressive cultural expansion. Barack Obama keeps mentioning South Korea as the model of education, democracy, and reconstruction in his speeches the world listens to.  

[The Tokyo Statium with 50,000 Japanese fans gathered up to meet Korean actor Yong-Joon Bae who greeted his fans in the air baloon]

South Korea indeed has a lot to work on and need a sense of urgency in building a solid public relations strategy. If not, South Korea will remain as a ‘developing country’ to the eyes of the world. Especially in terms of its astonishing history, including the ancient civilizations and kingdoms (with many, many interesting facts and tales that are equally captivating as those of Maya, Rome, and Egypt), Hwarang (an elite group of young warriors of Silla Dynasty), and the independence movement against Japan (a great background source for thousands of potential movies and novels) will continue to go unnoticed by a majority part of the world.

[Modern enactement Hwarang escourting their Queen in Korean TV show]

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