Greek holiday video turns out a turkey
Dabs Banner: November 2014
A new video to promote Greek tourism turns out to be a real turkey at the World Travel Show
Oh dear. A video promotion aimed at boosting holiday visitor numbers in 2015 has sparked more than outrage and controversy than visitor goodwill.
Greece's Tourism Ministry released the 2015 campaign video to promote the country as a holiday destination and attract millions more foreign tourists.
But officials were forced to withdraw the original video when journalists pointed out that the footage included scenes from the Nazi's Olympic Games of 1936.
A new version of the video is back on YouTube minus the Nazi clip, but the cleaned up promo has come under more fire for being "hackneyed, boring and corny".
The press release said the 11-minute video was narrated by Don Morgan Nielsen, (no-one appears to know who he is) and presents a "story about Greece".
The 'story' in this case appears to be swanning around archaeological ruins and ancient monuments and has no footage at all about modern Greece or the attractiveness of the Greek Islands as beach holiday destinations.
Many of the scenes have hackneyed images of Greek gods superimposed on circling shots of ancient Greek ruins .
The video was made by the newly formed National Tourist Organization (EOT) and launched at the World Tourism Market in London by Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni.
The advert-style format is full of beautiful scenes of ancient monuments, glorious sunsets and chapels perched on headlands shown to the sound of soothing middle-of-the-road music.
It is to be distributed across the world in preparation for the 2015 Greek holiday season that is forecast to attract up to 20 million visitors.
The reaction on social media has condemned the cliche-ridden style, the lack of originality, the staid production, forgettable background music and unnecessary and lengthy repetition in the overlong narration.
"Oh, no. Not more Greek gods!" has been a typical response to what has been dubbed a staid and boring holiday promotion video.
According to the tourism minister, Olga Kefalogianni, the ministry's "new communication strategy is based on the Greek gods and ancient heroes that we have all read about since our childhood and have all known since our school years"
So the video makes includes many references to the country's classical past but avoids any mention of the present with just a couple of short scenes showing bread and wine making.
In London, the Minister told journalists and industry representatives that Greek tourism is not just about "sun and sea" but it's a "varied product with themed sections which are developing and aim to cover all the interests of a modern and selective visitor".
No one at the ministry is saying how much the video has cost nor if there are any more like it in the pipeline.
It certainly provides a sharp contract to the holiday travel videos promoting the delights of a holiday in Chania in last year which picked up a clutch of prestigious awards.
The promotional video 'Chania: A journey to your senses' was shot by Crete filmmaker Thodoris Papadoulakis, andinspired by the classic film Zorba the Greek.
It is hard to believe that this video will pick up any awards given the pasting it has received on the internet, not to mention the gaffe of including Nazi propaganda shots in the sequence on the Olympics.
It does seem remarkable that, given the talent on offer in the Greek arts world, that the government should have come up with such a lame duck production.
Nothing is made of the incredible rise in tourism rates in the Greek islands in recent years,which have resulted in tourists arriving in record numbers.
And no effort was made to point out the new efforts being made to extend the reach of the Greek tourist market to include scuba diving, health tourism or out of season activities.
With the prospects of Greek tourism at an all-time high it's baffling why the government should have chosen yet another hackneyed look at the gods of ancient Greece.