Hat tip to kurczeblader.pl for this one: the brains behind Poland’s most successful PR stunt ever has been dismissed.
The daily Nowy Dzien reported that Andrzej Kozłowski, director of the Polish Tourist Board, has been given the opportunity to have some more free time for a holiday himself, by the new conservative Law and Justice government.
It was Kozlowski's idea to launch the ‘Polish Plumber’ campaign, after the negative image of Poland expressed during the French referendum on the EU constitution.
What Kozlowski did brilliantly was turn a negative – Poles and other central Europeans will flood labour and service markets, and work longer for less – into a positive, with a tongue in cheek advertising campaign that showed that Poles could laugh at themselves, even though the French were not in the mood to do the same.
And the campaign worked. A journalist colleague of mine has been to Paris twice since last summer. She says that the Polish Embassy in the French capital has been delighted by the response. French media loved it. The hunky Polish Plumber in the poster, Piotr Adamski, got fan mail from French females (and the occasional French guy - it ia a rather camp Polish Plumber!)
French tourism to Poland has increased measurably since the campaign started.
The whole thing was a work of minor genius.
And then the guy gets the sack. His critics in the government say that although the Polish Plumber was a success, Kozlowski has done little before or since.
Other campaigns have not been so successful. The follow up to the ‘Polish Plumber, the ‘Polish Nurse’, was not a great success. The caption behind the model dressed as a sexy nurse – actually a second year student at Warsaw University – which reads, ‘ I’m waiting for you’, made it appear that the country was trying to lure the foreign visitor with a very liberal idea of what could be considered ‘having a good time’.
And I don't think this government would like that very much.
Maybe it’s the political context that counts: the new government is kicking out the old guard – it’s like Year Zero. And the father of the slightly camp Polish Plumber has just gone down the plug hole.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Posted by beatroot at 1/20/2006