The poster in the Athens metro featured a young man next to a swimming pool at Santorini.
“Waking up in the sky: Priceless
With your MasterCard you are welcome all
in resorts, hotels, villas and spas.”
Oh really? Welcome are you? Whoever wrote that hasn’t travelled much in Greece, have they? Sure, major hotels and fancy spas in major tourist locations might accept Mastercard. But that is the tip of the iceberg of course. Most rooms to let don’t have any way to accept a Mastercard. At best they might take you down to the tourist shop, charge the card and get cash from their friend there. (I have done this!) But wait, another ad:
“With your Mastercard you are welcome all over Greece, in supermarkets, fruit markets and grocery stores.”
Yeah right! Outside of major cities and big supermarkets, if you try showing a credit card in a “fruit market” everyone will laugh at you of course. And any small “grocery store” on an island is more likely to accept your jewellery as payment than a Mastercard!
I tried hard to think what else Mastercard might want to achieve. Maybe they want to pressure store owners to install credit card machines. So advertising in the summer when everyone involved in tourism isn’t in Athens to see their campaign makes loads of sense….not! Maybe they will just run it for a couple of weeks, take pictures and then tell everybody that they did it, see if that impresses them!
Coming face-to-face with
your schoolbook pictures: Priceless®
With your MasterCard, you are welcome all over Greece,
in museums and galleries
This one cracked me up. If I had a pen with me I would have added “if the museum is not on strike, or the keeper hasn’t left early that day, or it isn’t some weird holiday you have never heard of, or it isn’t one of those little museums with just one guard and no electricity or internet connection which doesn’t accept credit cards….” The picture of a statue was also really weird, some angle which felt distinctly uncomfortable. Surely not an image any one found in “schoolbook pictures”!
But the fourth advert of the series in the metro was probably the best:
Forgetting to update your status: Priceless
With your MasterCard you are welcome all over Greece
in bars, night clubs and discos
This whole campaign is some sort of weird fiction. As if some exec in the US dreamed up a campaign in ten minutes projecting a long term goal from one of his powerpoint presentations. It is in many ways like holding up a “everything that is wrong with Greek tourism” summary in four advertisements. In an upside down world maybe you can go to a noisy bar and pull out a Mastercard to pay for your drink. But surely not in Greece!
Oh, and it is impossible not to “update your status” because all the Greeks do at the club is play with their cell phones…