A child, a father-in-law and a psychotherapist are the main characters in the adds and commercials promoting Eastern Poland. They are the people asking the key question: “Why didn't you invest in Eastern Poland?” The spots not only sparked stormy discussion, but first and foremost have been noticed by investors, evidence of which is the growing number of queries about investments in Eastern Poland.
It's been 3 years since the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ) has been pursuing Eastern Poland Promotional Programme. It's goal is to increase investors' interest in 5 provinces belonging to Eastern Poland Macroregion: Lublin, Podkarpacie, Podlasie, Świętokrzyskie and Marmia-Masuria and thereby accelerate social and economic development in those regions. Activities including direct promotion, participation of companies and local self-government units in trade fairs and visits are backed up by international add campaign addressed at potential investors.
The spots that are part of the campaign provoked discussion about the advertisement, and above all about the Macroregion. Those who expect to see landscapes or businessmen handshakes may be disappointed. The campaign's main characters are: a kid, a father-in-law and a psychotherapist, who ask a question: “Why didn't you invest in Eastern Poland?”
“The question suggests great opportunity, potential for a good deal, company development, winning new markets. Put this way, it leaves a positive message, it's not too late, there's still time to do it. You can still win by investing in Eastern Poland” - says Jacek Sadowski from Demo Effective Launching Agency that created the adds.
The very question became a target for the Internet users, who begun creating memes (e.g. why didn't you invest in Mars?) circling the Internet. As PAIiIZ emphasises, they did not hurt the campaign in any way, on the contrary. “We aren't really upset about the memes. Our campaign has been noticed, and that's important. Internet has its own rules. However, we've noticed that the campaign has been positively received by marketing specialists, and above all by potential investors. They spotted the campaign in CNN and international airports and have been contacting us ever since.” - says Agnieszka Łukaszewska-Wojnarowska, Director of the Regional Development Department in PAIiIZ S.A.
At the same time, when the forums, mainly the entertainment ones, were discussing the memes, American “Business Insider” said that the disapproving boy asking: “Why didn't you invest in Eastern Poland” could be right. We read that: “Poland outperformed its neighbors during the crisis […] The central European country was named one of the best emerging markets in the world, according to Bloomberg Markets Magazine, with 21 percent GDP growth projected from 2013 to 2017.” The fact that the portal is visited by 5 million users every month is an important voice in the discussion about Poland, including Eastern Poland. Also American monthly “The Atlantic” encourages to invest in the Macroregion: “It could be the fastest-growing region of the fastest-growing economy in Europe. Let's put it this way. I don't always invest in Europe, but when I do, I prefer Poland -- and eastern Poland in particular.” - says the author.
The campaign and thereby Eastern Poland did not go unnoticed by our target group – investors. Moreover, lately, during a seminar in India, head of an institution associating investors asked a direct question, why Indian investors failed to invest in Eastern Poland so far and told them that they should find an answer to that question as soon as possible. From the US through India to Japan, investors can spot the add anywhere.” - says Agnieszka Łukaszewska-Wojnarowska from PAIiIZ.
International media also discovered the campaign and commented on it appreciatively. In March, it was the campaign of the week in American “Adweek”. “Slate” acknowledged the add with the kid asking “Why didn’t you invest in Eastern Poland?” as the most catchy poster that concerns economic development. “Also CNN said that it is the first campaign that stands out so much and thereby is noticeable” – adds Wojnarowska from PAIiIZ.
„Our goal was to create a campaign that would draw attention to Eastern Poland. In order to achieve it, we had to talk about the Macroregion differently than everybody else. Every country, every region praises its beautiful landscapes, modern infrastructure, world-famous sportsmen, artists, politicians. We decided to approach potential investor directly, so he/she starts to think of Eastern Poland as an opportunity and new investment ground in the European Union. What’s so unique about our spots? Formula, minimum content, emotions.” – says Jacek Sadowski from Demo Effective Launching Agency.
At the beginning, the innovative process of creating the adds was a source of concerns for the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, but it turned out there was no need to worry. “Of course we had our concerns. The campaign’s idea was different from anything we were used to. No scrapers, views, economic data. There’s a child, a father-in-law and a psychotherapist, who approach an investor to ask him a question. We didn’t know how the add would be received. We assumed that it would get a positive receiption, but we weren’t sure if the time for such add already came. As it turns out, we made the right decision.” – says AgnieszkaŁukaszewska – Wojnarowska from PAIiIZ.
The advertising spots are just a component of the Eastern Poland Economic Promotion Programme. However, they provide an essential support for direct activities used by entrepreneurs and local government authorities in the Macroregion. Surveys among 148 investors who benefited from the Programme show that 507 contracts with foreign partners amounting to almost 300 million złotych were signed thanks to the Programme. Moreover, it was possible to increase export by average 63%, production by 19% and sale by 18%.