September 8, 2008

Slovakia or Lord of the Rings?

For this first posting I’ve decided to blog about something very dear to me, my home country Slovakia. Even though it’s been years since we separated from Czech Republic and Czechoslovakia doesn’t exist anymore, there are still many people out there who don’t know about it. Many don’t know about Slovakia at all. So yes, there is a country called Slovakia and no, the horror movie Hostel is not really about Slovakia. In fact, Slovakia is an opposite of the image Hostel offered to the world. As this video says Slovakia is a Fairytale.

Slovakia - Little big country from nutiso on Vimeo.

30 seconds of impressive camera work, famous voice of Don LaFontaine and couple of popular tourist attractions meet in this well done commercial. When it was done so well, why are so many people making fun of it? Well, maybe because it rather looks like a Lord of The Rings movie trailer than a country promotional video. The voice, the camera shooting from the sky.. Doesn’t the font used throughout the video remind you of LOTR also? However neutral I try to be, it does look like a trailer for an upcoming blockbuster movie.

Slovak Tourist board website says that video was made in five language versions (English, German, Czech, Hungarian and Polish). They expected to air the video on CNN, BBC World News and other world television. I wasn’t lucky to see it on any of these channels. Production of the video and the whole project behind it was co-funded by European Union. So what if it wasn’t what they hoped for, it wasn’t only our money in it being wasted after all.

Some love it, some hate it, and some don’t care. Question remains, does this video work?
Slovak Tourist Board didn’t respond to my e-mail requesting statistics about where the video was aired and how successful it was. Who knows why?

For more information about movie Hostel
(Please don’t take a single sentence in this movie seriously, we don’t kill Americans for fun, trust me!)
More about Little Big Country Slovakia

Update on 09/14/08
Slovak Tourist Board responded to my e-mail saying that the video is currently aired on Eurosport channel and also was aired during the olympic games. It is aired in three different languages. E-mail did not include any statistics about its success. Well, at least they wrote back.

1 comment:

Zhama said...

I can share your indignation, Martina. The thing is that I am journalist from Kazakhstan but I do not wash my hands in bidet as BORAT does.People don't know about my home country as well, but Borat made a kind of favor for us because he told Americans that this country exists. The next thing KZ government should have done is conducting great PR-campaign for Kazakhstan image, but it has chosen just to proclaim smth like " Sasha Cohen is bad guy, all he told is false!"