Thursday 21 January 2010

A saucy campaign

As we move through winter and the bitter cold begins to recede, so begins the season for countries across the globe to up their PR efforts to entice consumers as they start thinking about summer holidays. But TV commercials and posters (Ar-oooh-ba?) showing pristine beaches and unique sights may no longer be enough to capture the imagination of the public and tourism boards need to start thinking outside the suitcase.

The ‘Best job in the world’ campaign (won by Brit Ben Southall) put the relatively unknown Hamilton Island in Australia firmly on the map in May last year when they offered an intrepid traveller the job of Caretaker in return for a bit of blogging. It was excellent publicity but, with our new client China Food Company now on board and a rapidly dwindling stock of pistachios in the kitchen, our minds have turned to snacking. How appropriate then, to discover that Italy is getting in on the publicity act with its own campaign against bad Bolognese.

The signature Italian dish is a firm favourite in homes, schools and restaurants everywhere, but chefs from the Eden Hotel in Rome are on a mission to bring it back to its roots. For a start, did you know Bolognese shouldn’t even be served with spaghetti? Featured on the BBC, tourists were asked what should go into spag bol (which should really be renamed tag bol) but none of them managed to get it right – who would have guessed it should contain a glass of milk? Perhaps a jaunt to Italy for a cookery course or simply to sample the national dish cooked in the traditional way is the answer? Although ostensibly independent from the Italian Tourist Board, no doubt the chefs from the Eden Hotel will be thanked for this obscure little piece of pasta publicity.

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