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Advertising during crisis

31 May 2010 / 13:05:41  GRReporter
6331 reads

Victoria Mindova


The economic crisis and mass hysteria that the Greeks are getting poorer quickly opened up new horizons for creative directors in the advertising agencies in the country. If only a year ago we could see ads that promote luxury and quality, today more than ever the focus of each ad spot is "See how affordable our product is!" From gel for the plates, trough the banking services, to the vast (and most likely still expensive) car, the ad industry engages in the art of persuasion that the submitted product, service or commodity has the best price on the market.

The pre bankruptcy state of the country and the tenacity of Germans not to give up to the last-minute financial assistance to troubled Greece create new "symbols of evil" in the modern national psychology of the ordinary Greek. An example is the person Angela Merkel, whos persistence not to pay the accounts of the loosen up Greeks. This led not only to indecent comments in public space here, but even born and advertisment at the expense of german goods and in particular the vehicles. One Korean cars brand benefited from the sharpening tone in German-Greek relations and make advertising spot, which demonstratively closed the face of the German Chancellor on a large billboard with a new cheap cars offer. The symbolism is that even in the difficult economic times, the Korean brand offers the consumer quality on a better price than the German competitors.

Things get even funnier with the new offers of some Greek banks which agreed to show in its advertising campaigns their deep commitment to the poorest countries officials. Following the adoption of strict economic measures by the government, which included a ten percent reduction in salary supplements (not even the salaries themselves) for those receiving a monthly income of more than two thousand euros, has raised a fuss. This also inspired the advertising agencies and the marketing departments of the banks that have developed brand new programs specifically for the public sector. One such program belongs to a leading Greek bank, which allows employees on government jobs to earn 10,000 euros, if they open an account for payment of salary in their bank. "One out of every ten wins € 10,000. Take back what you have lost,” the advertising slogan urges the public sector employees, while employees in the private sector have been eaten by dogs. They have no chance to win because they did not have anybody to secure them government jobs.

The cherry on the cake however is the ad that rotates mercilessly in the past at least four months for gather support for repayment of the national debt! "Greece is not indifferent," reads the ad clip of the Solidarity Fund for the repayment of external debt. In it Greek citizens and business communities are invited to give their voluntary tribute together to reduce the foreign debt by depositing any amount of money in specially opened for this purpose bank accounts.

If by now you have not heard how much Greece owes to external creditors, this could seem like a good initiative. But if you look at the nature of things we will see that Greece owes over 310 billion euros and the idea of this Solidarity Fund may seem ridiculous, even crazy. But the advertisement runs tirelessly in public and private broadcasters - while watching early morning news and drinking your coffee, in the afternoon during the  ad breaks of the gossip shows, in the evening just before the end of the late movie before they sank you to sleep.

Obviously the message of this intrusive advertising clip has broken the defense of the common sense, when in April this year the parliament's press announced that two brothers of six and eight years had gone with their grandmother and donated the money they have saved to the fund for debt repayments. The amount was about 20 euros, and according to the statement and the parliament speaker Filipos Petselnikos was so moved when he learned about the good deed of the kids that invited them to the official meeting widely covered in the media and gave them one book each as a present.

The example of the fund for repayment of the external debt shows that no matter how absurd the idea is with the right advertising it can achieve unexpected results, like two children to open their piggy banks to pay the national debts of the country.

Tags: Economy Markets Society
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