Saturday, August 16, 2008

Welcome to The Most Boring Place On Earth

As some of you already know, I Feel Slovenia is the Slovenian government's marketing slogan (and yes that is the shamefully pathetic logo, above). I've not met a single person here who likes this slogan and in fact I've seen people (like the great Pengovsky) actually poke some good fun at it.

Today I had the bad fortune to read the document explaining the reasoning behind this piss-poor slogan and campaign (via Piran Cafe), and now I am more than annoyed, I am actually angry. Frankly, I am amazed at the amount of clearly creative work that is handed down to pencil-pushing non-creative boot-licking bureaucrats in this country -- awful cubicle-sitting sort of people who have nothing original to say and are always looking for the easiest way to fill a page without actually managing to make any actual points.

Here are some sample statements from that load of crock-ola:

  • The brand summarises the key elements of the country's present identity, expresses a vision of the country, and conveys a symbolic promise.

  • The brand tells a story of Slovenes who work passionately for what they care about.

  • One of distinct features of the Slovenian national character is their decided individualism; however, at the same time Slovenes have a deep sense of belonging to their society, country and, naturally, the family; this also extends to feelings attached to the local environment. At the same time, they are open to good things from elsewhere, good ideas, good people and, consequently, diversity, which is one of conditions for a secure future.

WHO writes this junk? Does any of it mean anything at all? I feel like the stooge who wrote this just went and ticked down a checklist of EU buzz words and pressed "SEND". Shameful!

Luckily, we still get a fair amount of foreign tourists here, despite the government's best efforts to confuse them and keep them away, but we'll see how long that can last. Dear Slovenia, please start hiring people who are QUALIFIED for the job at hand. If you can't find them here, other countries do exist. Just be prepared to pay a decent wage.


Skweek said...

Newsflash: it's a tourist slogan. They all suck. Just look at some of the US state slogans. Alabama: Alabama the Beautiful. Arkansas: The Natural State. California: Find Yourself Here.

And, of course, the former Vermont slogan that is almost identical to I Feel sLOVEenia, except that it's even worse: I LoVermont.

Um, maybe America should invest into some QUALIFIED people as well? If you can't find them there, other countries do exist. You know, the places you usually invade from time to time for no good reason.

Anonymous said...

now at least we have some proof that a stupid slogan is not sufficient to keep the tourists away - I guess they will invent something more radical for the next year

Camille Acey said...

@Skweek - Well the criticism was more behind the reasoning and not really the slogan. I don't know why all the officials insist on marketing Slovenia and Slovenian people as so incredibly DULL.

That said, nowhere in my piece did I compare Slovenia to America. But as to your criticism of America, you'll get no argument from me. I am not Condoleeza Rice or anyone interested in defending America.

Lisa said...

The thing that bothers me about slogan is that it doesn't really work in English. "I feel love"? That's some awkward phrasing right there.

autumn said...

I've been wading through a lot of Slovenian tourist literature and am continually surprised by how unnecessarily...academic?...the language is. It's all good translation in the sense that it's easily understood, but there's a removed pomposity about it that doesn't seem to fit what (I imagine to be) the Slovenes are actually like. Very odd.

(I'm making my first trip to Slovenia next month and have been following your blog for a while now in preparation--thank you for the insight into Slovenian culture!)

Camille Acey said...

@Autumn - Yes! That's absolutely it. It's so terribly dry and drole. This is part of the reason I have been focusing on learning the language so quickly -- Slovenians are usually pretty boring (and slightly rude and to the point) in English. Also there is this "dot the i, cross the t" sensibility that permeates areas that should be characterized more by enthusiasm, humor, and/or playfulness. Alas, I think it is mostly a matter of something being lost in translation, and also matter of Slovenian's not being much for the "flowery" language that I so love.

I hope you enjoy your travels here!

Anthrophile said...

Is it wrong that I kind of like the logo? :-D :-D

The bureaucrat-ese on the other hand...well, that's a symptom of larger problems. (And I'm talking about bureaucracy in general, just in case skweek is still feeling itchy. ;-D)

Anonymous said...

after spending 15 years in international advertising, all i can ask is what brand of high-grade pharmaceuticals those guys were on when they wrote that ish....