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"ReBranding," Not Via An Ad Campaign!

By Batya Medad
8/24/2008, 12:00 AM

I was one of the two hundred Jewish Bloggers, known as jbloggers, who met last Wednesday, August 20, at the First Annual Jewish Bloggers Convention, in the Nefesh B'Nefesh offices in Jerusalem.  It was a very enjoyable experience meeting virtual friends, acquaintances and celebrities f2f, face to face.

Yes, that's me with the creator of Dry Bones.

And Bibi is also a blogger.

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But there's no such thing as a free lunch, and besides the aliyah agenda, which most of us are at home with, they had a spokesperson from the Foreign Ministry who spoke about "ReBranding."  In simple words, it means image-changing.  The results of recent research had them astounded.  We are perceived abroad as a dangerous, unfriendly country.

Kadima's forward-thinking Foreign Minister, Tsippi Livni, decided that what's needed is an advertising campaign. 
the more we try to please the world and imitate it, the less they like us. And they certainly don't respect us
The idea is to promote Israel as an "attractive place."  

Look closely, here's what you see to combat negative stereotypes and create the future brand and marketing image of Israel:

1. Tel Aviv Fashion Brands
2. Tel Aviv Modern Dance Troupes
3. Tel Aviv Beach Life
4. Israeli High Technology Developments
5. Tel Aviv Night Life
6. Israeli High Technology Medical Developments
7. Israeli Wine

Those are the images that Israel is going to use to sell Israel's uniqueness and specialness to the world. The campaign is being prepared and the Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is expected to sign off on the budget next month. (picture plus list and explanation from Akiva.)  Akiva left out the Foreign Ministry's aim to stress that we're the home of the three main religions.

An ad campaign won't solve our problems.  People aren't so dumb, except maybe Israeli politicians.  Few people will ever see the ads, no matter how much money is invested.  So, here are some of my suggestions, which won't cost us all that money and will probably save some.  Of course, you're invited to add your in the comments:

  1. No more visits to Yad Veshem or Massada for foreign office-holders and diplomats.  Let's show a vibrant Israel, not dead Jews.
  2. No more closing off streets when foreign visitors come, like Bush.  It just reinforces the "Israel isn't safe" image.  If they don't agree, so they shouldn't come.
  3. Take foreign visitors to see our farms and innovative techniques.  Travel by car to stress how small the country is.
  4. Israel must stop asking advice and permission from foreigners about defense.  We don't need their help.  We did better defending ourselves before America interfered.  The Six Days War, 1967, was our victory alone, plus the prayers of Jews all over the world.  Six years later, the Yom Kippur War was more difficult, because America was "helping," and things have gone downhill ever since.  A country that begs for help is weak.

Israelis once had a great reputation as strong, daring, chutzpadik!

Now, the more we try to please the world and imitate it, the less they like us.  And they certainly don't respect us.

None of these expensive ad campaigns will do the trick.  One reason is because they're "phony," and the other bigger reason is that they're lacking passion, passion for an ideal.  In advertising there's the principle that you must create passion for your product, and none of that exists in the "Rebranding of Israel."