Now there’s a headline that, just a few months ago, we would never have expected to write. The world is a funny place, though.
After spending five days in Bucharest last winter Romania remains relatively fresh in the mind, and as such our eyes couldn’t help but pick up on a Facebook feed item today suggesting that Britons left dismayed at the impending E.U. exit should actually move to Transylvania, Romania’s spookiest, most atmospheric and naturally stunning region.
It’s an interesting proposition, and one that counts for more than just click bait. After following the link we were first given a map of Europe, alarmingly with the mainland in blue, England in the St. George’s Cross, Wales the Welsh dragon, and a distinct lack of Ireland and Scotland. Quite what the designers know and we don’t is unclear, but from this page you arrive at a string of mostly factually-based reasons to relocate immediately.
Some are, admittedly, a little trite- ‘probably the most spectacular nature in Europe’- others pretty convincing of genuine benefits- third fastest download speeds in the world, largest number of IT specialists on the Continent, positive atmosphere for new start ups (rates, rents, labour, utilities are apparently three to six times cheaper than the U.K.).
None of which sounds much like travel PR, because it isn’t. Instead, this is a campaign to promote a region to entrepreneurs. As the webpage concludes after stating ‘There’s one thing Transylvania needs:
We need more entrepreneurs.
We need pioneers.
We need visionaries.
We need you.
Don’t worry, though, there’s no Uncle Sam pointing out of the poster at you.
Whether this will have any convincing effect on DIY businesspeople here in Blighty is a question open to wild speculation. One thing this does achieve is convincing us that we’d certainly love to check out this corner of the planet, though. Whilst there are only short, succinct written points forming the backbone of the campaign, the imagery is convincing enough, and the details of cheap air connections from cities like London, Sheffield, Birmingham and Liverpool make the idea of booking a few days away even more tempting.
But why is this so effective? Well, for starters the idea of Romania providing the solution to the U.K.’s EU headache is guaranteed to pull in some traffic. We want to know what the ad is talking about. Secondly, the actual rationale, for the most part at least, seems pretty much on the money. Who doesn’t want to live somewhere- or take a vacation there- boasting 50 times less car crime and 20x fewer robberies than their homeland? There’s also the small matter of high-impact copywriting.
And that doesn’t mean a lack of European spelling, punctuation and grammar, but rather how the message is unmistakably upbeat, and ends with a clear call to action- Romania, and specifically Transylvania, will be better, and stronger economically, with you involved. At a time when words like alienation, marginalised and disheartened are daily utterances for a worryingly high proportion of the electorate in the U.K., this could potentially resonate strongly.
Timing counts for much, too, and whilst there’s a chance we’re late to the party here, the ad popped up at a point in the year when- as our MD Rick Guttridge explained in the opener to our last newsletter– most of us are growing pretty tired of all the negativity about daily life in the media, and the Doomsday reports regarding the Referendum result. Transylvania’s campaign is lighthearted enough to provide a break from the seriousness that seems to be everywhere, and is also firmly focussed on what could be a very bright future from the most idealistic perspective.