Thursday, August 28, 2008

Babes in bikinis vs the coronary stent

The Israeli consulate in Toronto is gearing up for "Brand Israel" , a $1M 10-month ad blitz campaign displaying positive images of Israel in bus shelters, on billboards, on radio and TV starting in September. The ad here features the "Innovation Israel" coronary stent.

Consul general Amir Gissin promises the campaign will be "an attack on all the senses".

Sponsored by Sidney Greenberg of Astral Media, Canada's largest radio broadcaster; Joel Reitman of MIJO Corporation; and David Asper of Canwest Global, I'm sure it will be.

"The way to fix negative images of Israel is to present Israel in a positive light elsewhere," Gissin said. "Never has there been this [scale] of combination of business and philanthropy for Israel."

Well, that's only true if you don't count the last seven years of the Brand Israel campaign in the U.S.
ISRAEL21c boasts it "has placed more than 5,000 stories with positive images of Israel and Israelis in mainstream American media" and "tens of millions of eyes see ISRAEL21c reported stories, yet most of them don't know that ISRAEL21c is the source".
Their most famous stories include a former Miss Israel in a bikini on the covers of Maxim and the New York Post, and the Newsweek photospread "Babes in the Holy Land", financed in part by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The former national president of AIPAC, now president of ISRAEL21c, explains the strategy :
"All the recent research on Israel's image or brand in America indicates that the one demographic group that has the least positive knowledge of Israel in America is men under 30. To them, Israel is a place of armed military conflict and little else."
Gissin's U.S. counterpart, the Israeli consular official based in New York, attended the photoshoot and agreed :

"We have to find the right hook. And what's relevant to men under 35?
Good-looking women."

Figures, doesn't it?

The Americans get targeted with Babes in the Holy Land; Canadians will be getting the coronary stent.

P.S. Dear Jerusalem Post : All the wonderful goodwill generated by your report on the rebranding Israel campaign is unfortunately somewhat diluted by your having a "Bomb Iran? Vote now!" NewsMax poll on the comments page accompanying the article.


Red Tory said...

LOL. Yeah, nice PR move with that stupid ad. You'd really think they would have noticed something that obvious.

Reality Bites said...

It's working already. Just this month there was this mention in Catholic Insight:

The OHRC’s Jewish adjudicator, Michael Gottheil, referred often in his ruling to the principle of “balancing competing rights,” but he decided that CH had no religious rights because it was not involved in just serving the interests of its Evangelical religious adherents. “The primary object and mission of Christian Horizons is to provide care and support for individuals who have developmental disabilities, without regard to their creed,” he wrote. “Christian Horizons is not a religious institution whose purpose is to ‘form the hearts and minds’ of its residents in the ways of faith of the organization.”

(Scratch a homophobe and you almost invariably find an all-around bigot)

Frank Frink said...

the campaign will be "an attack on all the senses".

They're going to release scratch & sniff ads?

Alison said...

RT : I left a lot out of this post.
The point of the ad is to win over "new Canadians", read "ethnics".
Funny, that's Harper's strategy too.

"OHRC’s Jewish adjudicator"?
Holy shit.

Frank : *biting my tongue*

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