The media has been awash with news of Romania’s new marketing campaign. Haven’t heard yet? This is a fairly dated topic, however it does deserve a discussion here. Romania is now paying big money to launch a “paradigm shift” campaign. The ministry of tourism believes they too can jump on the bandwagon of successful tourism media campaigns. The interesting thing is that Romania chose to go the Romanian route and ditch creative thought altogether.
Romania is going green. No more Dracula, no more sharp-edged mountains, dark forests, castles, river deltas, and rich culture. Romania should now be referred to as “eco-tropical Green Country”.
Here’s what has transpired so far in a nutshell with the Branding Of Romania:
On the 6th of last July, Romania’s Minister of Tourism Elena Udrea announced the “One Country, So Many Experiences” catch phrase for the new image of Romania.
The process of re-branding of Romania goes back to the World Expo of Shanghai, where Romania introduced the “Greenopolis” concept (by the same designers of AFI Palace Cotroceni or vice-versa??). This concept was intended to alter the general public’s perception or pre-conceived notions of Romania.
Romania should now be perceived as an environmentally aware (in practice as well as mindset) country that prides itself in sharing its rich wonderland with all that desire the greener elements in life. That’s the pitch.
Introducing Romania’s new “logo”; the brainchild of Barcelona based company THR, creators for the new Espana logo as well.
Let’s analyze this new logo:
The first thing one notices is that this logo is green. Very green. Does Romania wish for us to think that this is because of their “green” mindset as portrayed by “Greenopolis”? Does Romania wish for us to believe that this country features a lush landscape awash with greenery? Either way we’re not fooled. No, Romania is not located in the rain forests of South America, the outback of Australia nor the jungles of Madagascar.
The leaf. Yes the famous leaf. This leaf was the center of controversy for quite a while. A whopping 900,000.00 Euros was estimated to have been spent on this logo. The company that created this logo, THR, is under suspicion of “stealing” the art for this clearly clip art-esque design. While stealing is a strong word (many great logos and designs are created through mixing various elements including clip art) this certainly is not a nine hundred thousand euro design. Plain and simple. Someone lined their pockets on this one. The leaf was clearly sourced from the “Eco-Image Collection” within iStock Photo, a common clip art distribution website. THR allegedly claims to have hand drawn this element of the logo. Yeah right. Accusations of plagiarism should go ignored here, as we have no doubt that THR was able to pay the sub-$50 licensing fee to iStock Photo in order to cover their ass. So, plagiarism and copyright infringement? No. Creativity? No. Lame-ass B.S.? Yeah.
“Explore The Carpathian Garden”. What the **$%? Romania is not the only country in Eastern Europe with the Carpathian Mountains. When we close our eyes and think of the Carpathian mountains do we honestly envision lush river-valleys straight from Disney’s The Jungle Book? Are their parrots circling around the tree canopies while chimpanzees swing from vine to vine? Not really. Why not play off of what Romania and the Carpathian mountains are actually known for? Is it so bad that the mountains are some of the most unique and dramatic in the entire world? Is it so bad that there are many castles and mystical “areas” throughout the Carpathian Mountains in Romania? For those of us that have “been there” we of course envision the impressive vistas, the amazing transitions as you drive from city to city through the jagged mountain passes (the occasional petrol refinery) and more undisturbed land than a westerner may have ever seen? They could have played this up rather than switch gears altogether (leaving out the petrol refineries… or not).
The diacritics above the “a” is meant to be a mountain peak with a sunset behind it. Well that’s original. Looks more like a boomerang than anything else. Was this the design for Australia Tourism?
The stem of the leaf is blue. Is this water? Is this the Danube? Romania wants you to know they have a river. This is clearly an important element of the country that should be brought to your attention. Now you know.
Attention Romania – try focusing on what you are actually known for and what you actually have to offer. Don’t try to be something that you’re not; leave that to the residents of Bucharest.
Here are the main points we at Bucharest Expat wish for you to take away from this article:
There is nothing wrong with using clipart to assemble a logo as long as it paid for and copyright free. Romania paid approximately 900,000 Euros for this logo. Instead of Romanians stealing from other countries, the other countries (Spain in this case) were able to successfully pull one over on Romania. Bravo.
Romania should brand itself based on what it HAS to offer, not on what it thinks people want it to have. This can be compared to the fitze (fite) group of people. They are trying way too hard to portray an image they believe others wish for them to be rather than just being themselves.
Romania does have amazing natural land. It is lucky that Romania hasn’t f’d up this unspoiled land. Good thing Ceausescu didn’t promote urban sprawl. He centralized his destruction.