The Egyptian Tourist Authority's new campaign identity
Brand New: Egypt, Now Less Arid
The previous identity is clearly 'old-school' and corporate. The symbols are generic and cliched, despite, perhaps, an unrivalled claim to the sun in relation to the god Ra. However, I do have to offer strong support for the previous brandline, "nothing compares". Quite obviously, Egypt offers a truly unique destination experience.
"Where it all begins" is appropriate but I have to work harder to see how the core message is not as generic as it at first appears. I can see an ambitious strategy in terms of how Egypt might be a life-changing experience. Egypt may indeed be where 'it' all begins on a personal as well as historical level (although the latter is tenuous) but in the context of the poor brand identity work this brandline strikes me as over-ambitious.
The advert shown is a first-class production. It's sophisticated, vivid, exciting and makes a good case for a distinctively Egyptian tourism experience. The modern Egyptian cultural experience on show in the advert delivers all the rich promises a contemporary mass tourism audience might expect. The hieroglyphics and pyramids deliver the message of a core experience few other destinations can compete with, and against which, indeed, "nothing compares".
Although the cues in the brand transformation are refreshing and appropriate, it seems that most of the budget was spent on traditional advertising. Egyptian tourism now has a first rate advertising campaign but a second rate brand identity. The 'Prince of Persia'-esque photoshop glows and generally over-photoshoped promotional imagery in combination with an overly fussy, illegible and symbolically awkward brandmark suggests that the client was either persuaded to believe that an advertising agency is as good as a brand consultancy, or they have no clue as to the difference.
The advertising campaign is not likely to hang around for long but, unfortunately, the brand identity is probably going to last a lot longer. It's likely that in the absence of a high intensity advertising campaign that the weakness of the key branding elements of this campaign will become more apparent.
This new campaign identity isn't arid but it is confused.
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