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Israel Branding Buzz Counterproductive?

by Mike Fegelman

A fair question from Robert Fulford in the National Post courtesy of Media Backspin:6a00d834515b7869e2010535c7f45e970c

  • But even if rebranding is policy, should it be done so openly? The Israelis keep giving interviews about it. This results in solemn conversation on CBC Radio's The Current or a Toronto Star headline about Israel trying to "buff its image." So far the only visible results are YouTube items headed "Hot Israel" with good-looking women wearing bikinis on a Tel Aviv beach.

Here are three reasons the buzz over Israel's branding campaign may be counterproductive:

  1. The process of the campaign upstages the campaign itself.
  2. Publicity risks raising skepticism before the launch of the campaign.
  3. Countries like Egypt, Tanzania and Ireland have launched branding campaigns in recent years with little fanfare. Rather than talk about what you're doing, "just do it."

On the other hand, as Haskell Nussbaum points out:

  • Even without a formal "rebranding Israel" program, we all have a role to play to help Israel's image. It can be as simple as e-mailing a news story about a recent Israeli invention to a colleague, hanging a picture of beautiful Israeli art on our walls or helping our cities and towns twin with an Israeli town. The government is, belatedly, doing its part. We must lend it a hand.

What's the right balance?



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