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There's a lot more to marketing than simply advertising a specific product or brand name. Sometimes it means arousing people's curiosity rather than trying to brainwash them with frequently repeated commercials or full page newspaper advertisements, which could have a negative impact on listeners, viewers and readers.
Thus, when real estate developer Alfred Akirov wanted to publicize the Mamilla Alrov Quarter, which links old and new Jerusalem, he threw a giant launch party sparing no expense on food, comfort, entertainment, decor et al. Because only part of the project has been completed, invitees who responded in the most positive manner to everything that already has been constructed, were eager to follow the progress of the project and can hardly wait till next year when the whole complex will be unveiled. Meanwhile, they'll be talking about it, which means the word will get out at no extra cost to Akirov.
Nothing succeeds like success and this multi-faceted project, which is part tourist, part residential, part office and part commercial has already endeared itself to almost everyone who has seen it. Israelis are not noted for being gracious about someone else's achievements, but on Monday night, it is was impossible to be anything but gracious, given that MAQ, even in its present state, is undoubtedly the most impressive and the most beautiful project in the whole of Israel - once it's finished, it will be even more so. Many of the stores in MAQ have already opened and were doing a brisk trade on the night of the launch, but to make sure visitors knew the names of all the stores including those not yet open, there were large white blocks along the crystal chandeliered walkway with a fashion model perched on top of each block and the name of the store in large letters on the side. In addition, there were people handing out catalogues for the fashion stores.
Although Akirov may not have paid any special attention to the project's potential with regard to weddings, the various plazas and staircases with their different backdrops are ideal for wedding photographs, enabling terraced groupings, so that no one in the group is hidden by someone else. For the time being, receptions can be in the nearby David Citadel hotel, which also belongs to Akirov, and which, like MAQ, was designed by Moshe Safdie. However once the complex is up and operating, there will also be a hotel in MAQ, which will be able to cater wedding receptions either indoors or on one of the plazas. Bets are on that this will be one of the most popular wedding venues of all time and will bring more people to Jerusalem than any of the capital's other attractions.
During the eight years in which the project was suspended due to a dispute between Akirov and the Karta Development Company, Akirov said on more than one occasion that he would never invest in Jerusalem again. Asked Monday night whether he was still that way inclined, he grinned from ear to ear and replied: "I'm stuck here."
Swedish Ambassador Robert Rydberg, who is currently winding up his tour of duty in Israel, was able, in his concluding whirl of events, to participate in the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Ericsson's Israel operations. The Swedish-based international leader in the telecom industry hosted an elegant party in the Arca hall in the old Tel Aviv port. Ericsson's global Executive Vice President Bert Nordberg specially came to Israel for the occasion and, together with Mats Bosrup, brought together the cream of the crop of Israel's communications industry including Communications Minister Ariel Attias, RAD-Binet's Zohar Zisappel, acting chairperson of the Council for Cable TV & Satellite Broadcasting Naama Henig and leading figures from Partner, Pelephone, Cellcom and Bezeq. If Ericsson was in need of endorsement, the giant company received it from Attias who said with a touch of nostalgia that his first mobile phone was an Ericsson model. Atias strongly urged Ericsson, which has a portfolio of 20,000 registered patents, some of which were developed by Comverse, Emblaze, Amdocs and other Israeli companies, to invest in Israeli R&D.
Rydberg, who begins most of his speeches in Israel in fluent Hebrew, did so again, telling Attias that 10 years is not a long time in the history of a company like Ericsson, which is more than 100 years old. "But 10 years in the dynamic Israel economy means a change from oranges to software and NASDAQ." He had no doubt, he said, that success breeds success, and that what Ericsson is doing is an inspiration to everyone engaged in telecommunication.
When does a diaper not look like a diaper? When it looks like jeans - or at least like denim underpants. The initiative for the new look for juniors who have not yet been toilet-trained comes from Huggies, which will launch its new product, today at Gan Ha'Ir, Tel Aviv. Unfortunately, the product will be on sale for only two weeks, so anyone who is enamored with it had better stock up while the merchandise is available.
Everyone wants to win the lottery, and a gimmick being used by the Israel Postal Services in order to encourage the public to pay their utility bills via the Post Office is to stamp the leaflet advertising the lottery. The leaflet is stamped each time a payment is made, and when it has been stamped four times, the person paying a utility bill will receive a free lottery ticket in which the first prize is a NIS 10,000 coupon to be spent at Supersol. It's difficult to tell how many free lottery tickets will be distributed, but regardless of the number of tickets, the first prize will be awarded seven times. In addition, there will be seventy vouchers for NIS 1,000. The marketing is really a soft sell; if you go to the bank to pay for utilities, you will be slapped with bank charges. In the Post Office, it's a service for which the customer pays no extra, so it's definitely worthwhile. Who knows, you might be lucky enough to augment your groceries with a beach chair, an electric kettle, a toaster oven, some towels and some basic clothing.