Social responsibility – the strongest image campaign?

As the snow melts, spring comes and with it – the new tourism season. We hear the birds nesting and the authorities clattering their keyboards with a new message about Lithuania.

We were a brave country, the true “Lithuania – Real is Beautiful” but with false views of Lithuania, and then we became the G-spot, from which our roads through Mary’s land are no longer known. What will we be broadcasting to the world this year?
Why do we create a Lithuanian advertisement using images from foreign countries? Why do the Lithuanian image-building campaigns do not create a better image of a country, but make it even worse? Maybe because with our image we try to cover our social problems? Thinking that a beautiful image can work as a disguise?
In 2017 the Lithuanian tourism campaign “Lithuania – Real is Beautiful” was launched, where images purchased from photo banks with the views from other countries were used for advertising purposes, and its authors argued that it was only used to set the right emotion. When this story has reached the international media BBC readers, the campaign did not improve the country’s image, but may have even harmed it.

How do others see us?

We are an EU member and since 2004 we travel across the union’s countries freely. What image did we create here? Unfortunately, sometimes we are known not for the good deeds and this often is heard louder than the positive news. Sometimes in this way we unwillingly create the image of our own homeland that resembles a dark forest, which is better to avoid.
Even more painful to the image of the country are the scandals arising from the social problems in Lithuania. They are loud and long heard in the local media and often even reaching our neighbours, thus, creating a negative image of the state. In the most popular news portals of our neighbours Latvia and Estonia, there are more messages about Lithuania, which are unfortunately, on a negative side. It seems that the messages about the new problems keep on appearing, but the ones on how we are dealing with them, are missing.

How do we introduce ourselves to the clients?

New spring, new tourism season – let’s clean up! Let’s print new leaflets with brainstormed slogans and let’s go forward! With another new campaign, the image of which has to miraculously fix the country’s appearance.
Why are we not trying to solve problems before advertising? And why do we pretend they don’t exist? By solving Lithuania’s social problems, we would not only improve the situation in the country, but also create a positive image. At the end, we would create not only a strong message, but also a strong value. Often being in a hurry and trying to be the first, being afraid of falling behind EU and other countries, we may be moving ahead, but the remaining problems do not resolve themselves and start to face us again, regardless of the image campaign of the year. And we only need to stop, take some time to think and really solve them. The message about this would be quicker than us.
Let’s give the world not only advertising, but much more – a socially responsible state. We have everything we need to become one: we are an open nation that always expresses how it feels. 🙂  Our greatest treasure – people, growing new generations, who want changes and are ready to overthrow mountains, so that we were the first ones not only among our neighbours, in the region, on the continent, but in the entire world.
Let’s meet this spring without a new image dress but certain of who we really are. Let’s not be afraid to be ourselves, let’s not be ashamed of our failures or problems – let’s share how we solve them (and actually do that); let’s show who we were and where we want to go – maybe this way we will inspire others, who are even bigger than us? Let’s tell a true, non-fiction story of our changes – Changes are beautiful.

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