Many of our listeners in Europe and the Middle East may have already noticed a new TV commercial that kicked-off on international stations at the beginning of May inviting tourists to the beautiful Czech Republic. The project was funded by the Ministry for Regional Development and coordinated and shot by the CzechTourism agency. Jan Velinger got in touch with the director of CzechTourism, David Gladis, to find out more about the campaign, with Mr Gladis telling Jan that for Czechs the commercial represented a major "first".
"It's the first such campaign in the history of the Czech Republic and I think we are one of the last European countries to conduct this campaign. We tried to present the Czech Republic as a country which is good to come to 'slow down' and that is indeed our slogan. We conducted a large survey among foreigners and we found out that the Czech Republic and Prague is perceived a s a destination for a relaxing, easy-going holiday."
Excerpt from the 30 second commercial:
"Somewhere else it's rush-hour, somewhere else people are working hard, somewhere else...time is flying..."
"The ad focuses mostly on architecture, history, castles, chateaux and historical towns. It starts with the image of a snail, because we need to attract attention and if you imagine on CNN and the BBC broadcasts full of disasters and in between such news there is our commercial, starting with the snail. But 90 percent of the ad focuses on architecture, showing Prague, Telc, Zdar nad Sazavou, UNESCO sites, Cesky Krumlov."
How many people are actually expected to see the commercial?
"152 million people - all over Europe and the Middle East."
You're expecting, I imagine, to see a jump in the number of tourists, a positive effect...
And the final cost of the commercial?
"30 million crowns, including buying the media spots, that's about 1 million euros."
Which is not that expensive for this type of project, is it?
Now, there is one more thing I wanted to ask about: it was debated in the Senate this week about which term to use for Ceska Republika - the Czech Republic or the name some have been calling for - Czechia. Did you have similar such debate when preparing the commercial?
"We still use the term Czech Republic for several reasons. The main reason is that all other state institutions and private companies - or most of them - use the term the Czech Republic, nobody uses the term 'Czechia'. Quite simply, it's not possible to promote one product under two names. So we use the same name for the product as everybody else."
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