Albania is rebranding. After getting EU candidate status in June 2014, Albania employed an advertising agency to rebrand it. This post reviews their strategy and tactics. Their brief was to replace negative stereotypes of Albania, increase foreign investment, increase jobs, foreign and domestic tourism. Their diagnosis was that Albania’s tourism and business marketing is “a sea of sameness,” despite its remarkable tourism and business potential. Their solution – reposition Albania as a global connector for travelers, entrepreneurs and business.
Their first proposal was:“Albania – Always Open.”
The tone is wrong, it sounds a little desperate. Their pitch (quoted below) can read as a plea for exploitation – exactly what Albania is seeking to avoid in its transit from EU Candidate to Member State:
“There’s one country in Europe that is always open. And it has nothing to do with whether the lights are on or off, or whether the shops are open or closed. Being open is a mindset. It’s an attitude we’ve embraced. And it’s what’s going to set Albania apart in the coming years. We’re open to innovative ideas, and game-changing companies. We’re open to providing experiences you won’t find anywhere else. We’re open to partnering with people who want to do more than just build a business. They want to build an industry. And we’re open to providing them the support and incentives to make their vision a reality. We’re open to showing well-worn travelers that Europe has a few more surprises left up its sleeve. We’re open to being known as a small country that’s doing big things. If you’re open to that, it might be time to pay a visit to Albania.
The adopted campaign is:“Albania – Go Your Own Way.”
This sounds truthful and attractive. Albania is a unique, exuberant country full of contradictions and opportunity. It offers something fresh and rightly deserves to attract those the agency describe as “future-minded and ambition-led.” Who it attracts is yet to be seen, but you can see for yourself and comment below: