Queen’s Day that is, I want have a short rant.
In the last year the city council has adopted a strategy aimed at changing the image of Amsterdam from coffee shops and red light district to something classier, conferences and culture. Research showed that most of the material out there about Amsterdam focused on the backpacker market which are typically travelling on the cheap. The city council realised that by moving up market a little, to conference goers and middle class visitors (I doubt the used the term, the probably used “professionals on holiday”). Since then they’ve put up the website “Iamsterdam.com” and sponsored events. So far so good. In fact very good – finally there’s an official source of information about Amsterdam in English (and German, French, Spanish, Italian and Chinese).
But here’s my gripe, I saw this marking on the pavement a couple of days before Queen’s Day.
Using masking tape is the standard method to mark your selling spot. So I assumed that the good councillors had come up with some stall for Queen’s Day; selling I Amsterdam tshirts or throwing pies at images of the mayor perhaps. I looked forward to finding out on Queen’s Day.
But there was nothing – apparently this was advertising space for the city council. I really don’t get it. I doubt anyone in the Jordaan did not know that the 30 April was Queen’s Day, so the advertisement was wasted. And on the day they didn’t use the space!
I think this was a very lame attempt at guerilla advertising. It misses because it has hijacked an existing medium but with no purpose. Sorry Gemente, this is a fail.