Venice in the Summertime…

September 3, 2009


I recently took a long weekend trip to Venice. It was a well needed break, a chance to recharge my batteries, and chill out for three days. We wandered the streets in a haze of Prosecco, avoided the crowds in St Marks Square, and took the obligatory Gondola ride.

It was only on the third day that I realised something was missing. How did it take so long for the penny to drop? Maybe work was so far from my mind, and the peace of a carless Mecca shielded the extraordinary reality – Venice is a city with virtually no advertising!

It’s incredible really once you realise it. Every day on my way to work, I am confronted with upwards of 50 messages on bus stops, billboards, buses themselves, in the freesheets, on the radio etc, never mind the rest of the day and night. But last weekend, I spent three full days away from this.

This became even more interesting when I uncovered the Venetian streets lined with Chanel, Prada, Pucci, Fendi, Vivienne Westwood and so on. And around the corner was Mc Donalds.

Venice doesn’t need to advertise – the majority of people there are tourists – they know about Mc Donalds and if they want to eat there they will sniff it out (literally). For the upmarket designer brands, the beautiful locals strutting their stuff in head to toe Chanel run a more effective advertising campaign than any marketing manager could ever dream up.

Finally on the way to the airport ‘bingo’ I spotted some posters while waiting for the water bus – A big Chanel ad (like a long ways six sheet) and some smaller restaurant ads in the bus shelter. And suddenly I realised I’d been singing ‘Just one Cornetto’ all weekend. Hmmmm, not so immune after all….



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