Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Europe" : The Latest Commodity

As any good salesman or saleswoman knows, the only way to see their product to the target audience is to entice all of their five senses- easy as that. But alongside intriguing the senses, by making key points about the product, this also helps draw them in closer. So let's say, for the sake of this argument (and for Europe in general), the product was beer. Since beer is cherished by so many of all ages, it makes you wonder: What makes it sell as well as it does? Is it the seemingly endless photos of an ice-cold, frothy beer overflowing over the chilled mug, the feeling of relaxation and contentment as one drinks a sip, or is it the half-naked women who are standing next to these blissful images? All of these factors play a major role in luring the target audience, which generally in this case, are party-hungry college students. But what if the product was "Europe"? As vast as that sounds, would it be feasible to sell this idea of "Europe" just like a beer?

My answer is simple: yeah, why not? Like all other products sold in the world today, these products have become successful because the teams of advertisers have been able to effectively attract their target audiences. So, who would be the target audience for a product like "Europe"? That answer comes all too easy: Europeans of course. Though it may sound silly to sell the idea of "Europe" to well, Europeans, since they already live in Europe and should know what exactly "Europe" has to offer. But, in many cases, this is not always correct.

So, in order to sell "Europe" to Europeans, I see three main means of advertisement that would attract those who live in Europe to buy into a product like this. They read as follows:

1. The ability to move freely from country to country
2. The ability to explore and discover other countries, especially the
richness of culture and traditions
3. Incredible food, need I say more?

So, now my question is who would not want to be able to travel freely from one country to another without having to face limitations? I know as an American student coming to live in a European country, this makes life a whole lot easier as well as enables me to feel connected to other parts of this great continent. Not to mention, as other Europeans are able to move from one country to another, this allows them to look for better economic conditions and in addition, a happier way of life.

Alongside this importance of free movement, it also enables individuals to travel to other countries and experience cultures that are unfamiliar to them. That is what is so special about the world today; not a single country is exactly the same as another country. As Europeans travel to other countries, unfamiliar areas than what they are used to, this permits them to learn about the cultures and traditions of their fellow neighbors. Europe is a vast region but when those who live here become familiar with the lifestyles of those around them, it becomes a more unified and connected place. Learning about other cultures allows Europeans to see the world in a completely new perspective as well as their own which ultimately, helps them become more eclectic and well-rounded.

Speaking of well-rounded, this brings me to my third and final point: food. It is known that each region of Europe has its own specialties; whether it is the bretzel in Germany, the waffle in Belgium, or crepes in France, everyone is aware of these delicacies based on the area they are in. Just like these foods, the idea of "Europe" holds the same concept. Though each region is known for different things, these specialties are what make Europe as special as it is. Therefore, this ultimately makes individuals, especially Europeans themselves, to want to live in such a place of great uniqueness as well as unification. I do not think it can get much better than that.

Thus, it is rather easy to see that "Europe" can in fact be sold similar to an everyday product such as beer, it just depends on the way one goes about advertising it. It might not be due to the photo of an ice-cold beer or the half-naked girl in a bikini holding it, but it is due to the message that lies behind the product. Both "Europe" and beer can bring their audience a feeling of contentment that is unlike any other; in the end, this is what will allow Europe to sell.

-Jonell Yablonski

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