Lithuanian capital Vilnius rebrands as 'G-spot of Europe'
The combination of cheap flights, a better work-life balance and an increasingly curious generation of travellers means place makers develop ever-unique strategies to attract tourists, business and residents. And, with some cities negatively effected by stiff competition and lack of exposure, relying on the adage of ‘making a new logo’ no longer has the desired effect.
To that end, the latest campaign designed to attract visitors to the Lithuanian capital Vilnius takes a zany approach to place branding, through the city likening itself to the mysterious, erogenous ‘G-spot.’ Based on the concept that ’it might not be obvious, but it’s there,’ the student-led campaign highlights the cultural and historic appeal of Vilnius to those traversing Europe’s relatively accessible transport network.
According to one of the campaign’s co-founders, comparing the city of Vilnius to the mysterious ‘G-spot’ perfectly reflects the location’s appeal. “Few people know where Vilnius really is, but when they arrive they fall in love with the city,” says Jurgis Ramanauskas, who worked on the project. “This insight came from our conversations with international visitors, and we formulated the idea that Vilnius is synonymous with the G-spot theory – nobody knows where it is, but, when it is discovered, everyone is very pleased.”
Located in the south east of Lithuania, the city of Vilnius is known among locals for its intriguing history and surprise-lined cobbled streets. Among foreign visitors the capital often goes undiscovered, with research completed by the campaign’s instigators showing tourists unable to place Vilnius on a map - despite being a focal point of the Baltic region.
However, the campaign is not without its critics. The 2.9 million-strong Lithuanian population is for the most part devoutly Catholic; the latest ‘G-spot’ brand angle, targeting specifically a British and German audience, has raised eyebrows among church and government officials. But for Inga Romanovskienė, director of Go Vilnius, the Vilnius tourism and business development agency, the lighthearted campaign is all about highlighting Vilnius’ unique Baltic culture - which includes its religious sites.
Romanovskienė says, “When it comes to attracting the modern tourist we’re dealing with a very high level of competition with other European cities and countries investing heavily in destination marketing.”
“The young creatives who came up with ‘Vilnius: the G-spot of Europe’ presented an extremely engaging idea to drive interest in the city. Go Vilnius looks forward to welcoming new international visitors to Vilnius and continuing to promote the city’s best tourism attractions and experiences,” she says.
Vilnius mayor, Remigijus Šimašius, says, “When I welcome international visitors to Vilnius, whether they are investors, journalists or representatives of official delegations, I’m so often told that upon arriving in Lithuania’s capital their first-hand impressions far outweigh their expectations. On the one hand, this assessment is very pleasing to hear, but on the other hand, it indicates that the perception of Vilnius needs to be dramatically improved to match with the reality.”
Whether for business or pleasure, the city of Vilnius isn’t lost - just undiscovered. And its latest place brand campaign has got people talking. Perhaps, in a world of increasingly interconnectedness and tourism built off the back of media portrayals and social media-led recommendations, a unique twist is best placed to deliver an effective - if controversial - brand strategy.
For more from Transform magazine, follow us on Twitter @Transformsays