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New Croatia Tourist Board slogan full of life, controversy

After 15 years of enticing tourists to its fabled Adriatic coast and islands with the hugely successful slogan The Mediterranean as It Once Was, Croatian tourism chiefs unveiled the new official tourism slogan, Croatia, Full of Life, according to a report in Croatia Week on February 12, 2015.

The old slogan, which did much to brand Croatia for a new generation of tourists after the devasting regional conflicts in the 1990s (including enticing this Digital Journalist to move from Somaliland) was finally shelved, as Croatia looked for a way to develop its tourism inland, and a recent international campaign, Croatia 365, has highlighted the country’s rich year-long potential without the customary reliance on sun and beach tourism.

The launch of the new slogan and concept, which cost a reported 2.5 million kuna (US$400,000), was met with a lukewarm response in the media and online forums, with many commentators replacing the word “life” with other nouns to describe their reaction to the slogan. Minister of Tourism Darko Lorencin, who was interviewed by Digital Journal last year, was quoted on the new slogan as follows:

“We like the uniqueness of the new slogan, because the keyword life does not appear in the tag lines of other tourism-oriented countries in the world, and life in Croatia is always perceived as a wonderful experience, so potential tourists will immediately recognize our message.”

The initial tepid response to the new slogan quickly gave way to articles appearing online which seemed to show that, far from being an original slogan, it had been used previously in other countries, as in this advert for Chevrolet Spark, for example:

And while the keyword “life” may not appear in other tag lines of other countries, the slogan “full of life” is not new to tourism promotion, as leading news portal Index pointed out with this video from Canada.

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Somewhat more surprisingly, the phrase “full of life” is already trademarked by Johnson Smith Company in Florida.

The new slogan is the joint work of BBDO Croatia, AMV BBDO UK, and DEC BBDO Spain, who beat 13 other bids to win the tender. The slogan is part of a new 20-million-euro campaign to promote Croatia as a tourist destination. The familiar Mediterranean may not be as it once was, but Croatia, Full of Life has certainly got off to a lively start.

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