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(photo credit: Courtesy )
BECAUSE JERUSALEM'S Caesar Hotel is so close to Jerusalem Capital Studios, which provide services for so many foreign television networks, some of the crews from these networks like to use the roof or balcony from one of the upper floors of the hotel to get a panoramic background shot of the city for their stand-up reporters or interviewees. Among those who regularly use the hotel for this purpose is Al Jazeera, the most politically independent Arab-owned network in the Middle East , with a huge following throughout the region. According to a story that appeared this week in Maariv, Al Jazeera has been inadvertently marketing the Caesar Hotel, which has been flooded with inquiries from people in the Gulf States, as well as Arab business people from Europe, who don't seem to realize initially that the hotel is located in Israel's capital. They see the logo of the hotel in the Al Jazeera telecasts, and because it bears such a strong similarity to that of Caesar's Palace Las Vegas, they automatically and erroneously assume that there's a connection. Once they realize their mistake, they back off from making reservations. However, if and when peace comes and relations between Israel and the Arab world are normalized, the Caesar Hotel, thanks to Al Jazeera will be one of the best known Israeli hotels among travelers from Arab countries.
POLAND HAS initiated an almost non-stop campaign to market itself in Israel. From a cultural perspective, it relocated the Polish Institute to more attractive, more spacious and more easily accessible premises in Asia House in Tel Aviv. It also has a large scale photographic exhibition on view at the embassy. It was extremely well represented at Israel Food Week, and this week Katarzyna Sobierajska, director of the Promotional Department of Polska, the Polish Tourist Organization, a governmental body responsible for tourist promotion of Poland abroad, that organizes familiarization trips for travel agents and travel writers, participates in travel fairs abroad, organizes workshops, road shows and presentations, invited Israelis in the tourist and travel business to meetings in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The first meeting was held on Sunday in Jerusalem where Poland was presented as a tourist destination, and the second will be held in Tel Aviv on today where, in addition to the general presentation, there will be special focus on Lodz.
Also today, Polish Ambassador Agnieszka Magdziak-Miszewska will host a reception at her residence where Bogdan Bernaczyk-Slonski, the director of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute will present an outline of the upcoming Polish Year in Israel in 2008. In addition to that, Zbigniew Magdziarz, head of the embassy's Trade and Investment Promotion Section is organizing a mid-December visit to Poland for business writers. Most Central and Eastern European countries have intensified their marketing operations in Israel, but Poland much more visibly and aggressively than others.
INTERNATIONAL TOURISM and Conferences has instituted a nationwide marketing campaign in Russia and among Christian Russian speakers worldwide to encourage pilgrim travel to Israel. Evangelists are the target audience of an intensive cable television campaign that aims to stir the spirit in the direction of the Holy Land.
BEST KNOWN for her role as Charlotte York in the popular television series "Sex and the City," Kristin Davis will now become the face best known for Ahava mineral-based cosmetics from the Dead Sea. Mega-sized wall posters of Davis in her promotional role can already be seen in Israel, but the actress, who in the series converts to Judaism and marries a Jewish lawyer, will not be coming to Israel till April. The photo shoot for the 40-meter high posters took place in New York and the photographs are the work of Australian photographer Russell James, who is well known for photographing celebrities and fashion models. His photographs have been featured in Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and other prestige publications. The posters are part of a $2 million marketing campaign being launched in Israel and the US with the teaser "Have you had your minerals today?" According to Ahava marketing and communications manager Ohed Berger, it is only natural that an actress of Davis's stature should appear on the largest wall space in Tel Aviv. When she arrives in Israel in April, there will be another photo shoot on location from where Ahava products are distributed to the world. Presumably, there will also be a meeting with President Shimon Peres, so Davis can return to the US to talk not only about the benefits of Ahava and the Dead Sea, but also about the joint and individual efforts of Israel and Jordan to turn the lowest point on earth into a high point of tourism.
IF WINTER comes, can Spring be far behind? The last line in "Ode to the West Wind" in the powerful, five-sonnet poem by celebrated British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, often comes to mind in Israel where traditions of different faiths and cultures chase on each other's heels. In other words, if Hanukka comes, can Id-al-Adha, Christmas and New Year's Eve be far behind?
Although Id-al-Adha has yet to be linked to Jewish and Christian festivals, linking Hanukka and Christmas is really old hat, since Americans introduced the Hanukka bush. But even in Israel it has become commonplace for non-Jews to light Hanukka candles and for Jews to celebrate Christmas and New Year. There are numerous joint Hanukka-Christmas celebrations. The Government Press Office is hosting a Hanukka Christmas party for children of foreign journalists and press attaches on Sunday, and on Monday, the International Christian Embassy is hosting a Holidays of Light reception at which both the Hanukkiya and Christmas tree will be lit. In both instances, these are marketing tools for tolerance and mutual acceptance. But what is ironic in a Jewish state is the volume of marketing being done for "Sylvester," the expression generally used in Hebrew for New Year's Eve. It would be a fair bet to say that most Israelis do not realize that Sylvester is a Catholic saint who in the fourth century became the Pope of Rome and held the position for 21 years. In its true sense, Sylvester is actually a Catholic feast day, which was taken up by the rest of the Christian world. Over time, its true meaning was forgotten, even though the name remained. In Europe, Sylvester was simply a way to hail the New Year and to have a good time.
The Coral jewelry chain, for instance, has launched a $250,000 Sylvester campaign in the Russian-speaking community, where its collection, intended for Sylvester sparkle, is being presented by dancer Anna Aronov on Russian language television, in Russian newspapers and magazines and on Russian Internet sites. Other jewelry, fashion and beauty enterprises are marketing their products and services specifically for Sylvester, and hair stylists are also creating new looks for the occasion. Among them are Amaru, Zara, Golf, ml men, Tom Salama and hair and make-up expert Rony Frankel.
THE RENOVATED and extended Kiryat Ono Mall is investing NIS 2m. in a multi-media marketing campaign on both a national and local basis, informing prospective shoppers in the immediate vicinity of their so much under one roof option so close to home - and of visitors to the area that they need go no further than the mall to satisfy all their shopping needs.
UNPUBLISHED OR rarely published writers usually have to knock on the doors of literary agents and publishers in the hope of getting attention, but in a total reversal of the procedure Ophir Publishing is spending $100,000 on an advertising campaign on Radio FM103 with the aim of encouraging people who have confined their writings to a drawer to take them out and get them published. The voice behind the commercials is that of well-known broadcaster and actor Alex Ansky, but the concept according to Ophir Publishing CEO Udi Ohana, is to bring unknown, beginning writers to public attention. Ohana believes that in this respect a small, private publishing company sometimes has an advantage over large houses that have huge overhead expenses and are less inclined to take a chance with an unknown writer unless the writing is so good that it springs off the page. Like many private publishing companies, Ophir expects the writers to participate in the publishing expenses, but promises in return to provide top-notch editors and public relations services.
BANK IGUD is trying to attract additional clients by offering to consult people on pension plan options so that they can select what they consider to be in their best interests. The pension plan campaign run by Geller Nessis, will be advertised in the print media on radio and Internet.
CLUB MED is getting ready for Summer 2008 and has launched an intensive employment campaign so it can have all its staff and a list of standbys in place before the start of the summer season. It is looking for reception desk staff, bartenders and trainers in surfing, diving, aerobics, yoga, acrobatics, and advanced gymnastics as well as child activity facilitators and child minders. Applicants should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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