Current Affairs CzechTourism adopts a new, controversial logo
Innovative! Refreshing! Cool! But also: Shallow, Dumb, and an outright travesty! Since its release roughly a week ago, the new logo of CzechTourism has almost become a sort of Czech Marmite. Receiving, both very positive, as well as mocking remarks from critics and the wider public.
The new logo ditches the old picture with a flag and instead uses a simple pun. The name of the Czech Republic with the last three letters of republic being replaced by the phonetically similar English “like”, underlined in red. The result – Czech Republike – makes use of Facebooks internationally famous button and urges tourists to visit the country, which they will surely “like”.
The CEO of Marvil, the company that designed the logo, Pavel Zelenka, sees it as a simple yet flexible concept that makes use of the current boom in social networking and says the logo’s pun is aimed at younger generations:
“It’s formally very simple and it can be easily used in various applications and it boosts creativity as well as ideas. The campaign is primarily aimed at naturally creative people, up to the age of 45. That is also the reason why we employed the “Like” concept in it, because they are the “Facebook generation”.”
But isn’t this too narrow an audience to focus on? People in their teens and mid twenties certainly “liked” it, as I found out when I interviewed some tourists on the ever busy streets of our capital:
“Yes it looks nice”
“Ah yes, I get it, because its “Like” in Republike. Yes this is fine!”
“Well this is something I would see on Facebook.”
Do you think it’s a good idea?
“It would make a good T-shirt.”
Most tourists form the older generations however, didn’t get it and merely saw a multicolored text. Last but not least, there is also the question of whether tourists who aren’t from an English speaking country and use Facebook will get the full meaning of the word “like”? The French version of it for example - „j’aime“ – sounds very different and the French do tend to be rather touchy about their language. But Zelenka as well as CzechTourism’s approval committee insist their work is done and see the Anglicism as a bridge rather than a barrier.
“About 85% of communication will be in English. That’s what we know for sure, and we will have to cope with these, lets say: “Cultural differences”, but I am sure that Facebook helped to make the word “Like” become a sort of Esperanto of our era. Even people who don’t speak English know what it means.”
Pavel Zelenka as well as his team are certainly proud of their work and rebuff critics by stressing that what they were asked to create was not a new national coat of arms or flag but merely a logo to help give CzechTourism a trendy face.
So will the new logo help tourism in Czech Republike to flourish? Will the market pun sell? Well, in its short life span of only one week it has already received much greater attention than one would normally expect from a logo. It certainly isn’t what most people expected. But then when Škoda came up with an arrow with an Indian headband in 1926 no one expected it to become one of the most admired logos in the world.