August 3, 2016

Buses renamed to sound more ‘Amsterdammy’

Filed under: Automobiles,General by Orangemaster @ 11:26 am

Sometime around 2013, Amsterdam’s city marketing people decided to rebrand ‘Muiderslot’ (‘Muiden Castle’) to ‘Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot’ to attract more tourists because they believe that if you put the word ‘Amsterdam’ in front of something, cash register sounds start ringing in your head, like a pleasant form of tinnitus. Maybe the name sounds close by or more fun, who knows. Muiderslot is in the town of Muiden now under the same municipality as Naarden (their beautiful fortress doesn’t need rebranding) and Bussum, also known as ‘not Amsterdam’.

Pseudo annexation of interesting tourist venues that are not Amsterdam remains awkward. Nobody calls the coastal cities of IJmuiden, Bloemendaal and Zandvoort ‘Amsterdam Beach’ but the city marketing people who thought that nonsense up. However, bus company Connexxion’s line 80 that goes to Zandvoort is being rebranded as the ‘Amsterdam Beach Line’ possibly because Amsterdam only has fake beaches and Connexxion hooked them up with a real one.

Also having jumped on the bandwagon apparently is the lake area between Amsterdam and Utrecht called ‘Loosdrechtse Plassen’, which is now the ‘Leisure Lakes’ (nope, not a direct translation), which sounds like a floating red light district. And there’s always the ‘Bulb Region’ closer to Haarlem that magically became the ‘Amsterdam Flower Strip’ also not used by anyone except the voices in someone’s head in charge of city marketing.

Picture a map of Amsterdam with everything around called ‘not Amsterdam’. In fact, many people would agree that’s how a lot of Amsterdam residents and unfortunately millions of tourists view the rest of the country.

In the spirit of ridiculous name changes, here are some other suggestions:

Cities close to Amsterdam like Amstelveen, Badhoeverdorp and Diemen that house a lot of expats (read: rich immigrants and migrants) should be called ‘Almost Amsterdam’, Amsterdam Airport Suites’ or just ‘Amsterdam’s suburbs’ and have their official names removed to cause less confusion.

The huge-ass flats in Amsterdam Zuidoost, which is its own district, could be rebranded as ‘Amsterdam Heights’ to have an excuse to hike up the rent of lesser wanted immigrants and migrants by sounding fancier.

Any other interesting towns like Zaandam, Haarlem and Abcoude better watch out before they get ‘Amsterdamized’ as well.

(Link: at5.nl, Photo of Muiderslot Castle by Coanri/Rita, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , ,

November 8, 2015

Life’s a beach and then you rename it

Filed under: Aviation by Orangemaster @ 7:56 pm

TheHaguelogo

In 2013 marketing geniuses in Amsterdam decided to call the coastal cities of IJmuiden, Bloemendaal and Zandvoort ‘Amsterdam Beach’, and nobody calls it that because it doesn’t make any sense, geographically or otherwise.

Another bunch of marketing geniuses are contemplating calling the historical beach of Scheveningen ‘The Hague Beach’ to attract more tourists, a change already implemented on the district’s English Wikipedia page. They argue that The Hague has 11 kilometres of beach that ‘nobody knows about’, as if pronouncing ‘Scheveningen’, admittedly not easy, was the problem. The Hague is really called ‘s-Gravenhage’ and was simplified in Dutch to Den Haag, but that hasn’t stopped anybody ever.

Not far from The Hague, but way closer to Rotterdam is Rotterdam The Hague Airport, which was historical called Zestienhoven because that’s where the airport actually is. It was later renamed Rotterdam Airport and finally Rotterdam The Hague Airport to give it more international appeal. Nobody cares.

According to AD.nl, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Ronal Plasterk, born and raised in Scheveningen said in a tweet: “Slippery slope: I was born in Scheveningen, not at The Hague Beach”, to which the city marketing spinners retorted that The Hague Beach is just what we’ll tell tourists, which is as condescending as sounds. Foreign nationals, historians and locals hate the idea. The city’s website still calls it The beach of Scheveningen, which almost sounds like painting by Adriaen van de Velde.

(Link: www.ad.nl, Twitter @ShakeAtOrion)

Tags: , , , , ,

May 14, 2014

Arnhem will lay you down flat

Filed under: Fashion by Orangemaster @ 3:42 pm

Arnhem-plat

Arnhem has just launched a new city marketing campaign that revolves around its role as a fashion city, entitled ‘Arnhem krijgt jou plat’, which translates to an amusing risqué joke.

‘Getting someone flat’, if you were to translate it literally in Dutch implies ‘laying someone’, as in ‘getting them laid’, and now you can see where I’m going with this. On the one hand, shopping in Arnhem for fashion will tire you out, sort of ‘shop till you drop’ thing, but on the other, if Arnhem can ‘get you vertical’, then their city marketing has done its job well.

The idea is that you can study fashion in Arnhem at ArtEZ, there’s the fashion quarter in Klarendal featuring many shops by up and coming designers, there’s the Fashion Festival Arnhem in the summer, and more. World famous Dutch designers Viktor & Rolf both met and studied in Arnhem.

(Link: www.adformatie.nl, Photo by Amsterdam copywriter Remco Janssen)

Tags: , ,

September 3, 2009

Amsterdam bullies critical group into dropping name and logo

Filed under: Architecture,General by Branko Collin @ 10:08 am

A group of Amsterdam citizens critical of the way the city is run has decided to change its name and logo under heavy pressure of the city government, Volkskrant reported last week (Dutch).

The group called Ai! Amsterdam (meaning Ouch! Amsterdam, a play on the official city marketing slogan of the city, I Amsterdam) has publicly criticized the city’s ban on drinking-while-standing, the gradual closing down of the Red Light district, and other less illuminated measures. The city has threatened with costly legal procedures if the group do not give up their name and logo, procedures which the group estimate would cost them tens of thousands of euro.

Ai! Amsterdam points out to De Pers (Dutch) that the city centre’s candidacy for becoming a UNESCO world heritage site (not just the canals, the entire city centre!) threatens the liveliness and openness of the city even further, creating a real risk of Amsterdam becoming just as staid as Bruges, Belgium, which is also a world heritage site. I think the group are underexaggerating things. At least Bruges started out boring. Amsterdam on the other hand has something to lose.

Ironically, the official I Amsterdam manifesto proclaims: “It’s time for Amsterdam to speak out for itself and make its relevance known in a proud, supportive and positive manner.”

(Illustration: the old Ai! Amsterdam logo, source: Ai!)

Tags: , , , , ,

February 25, 2009

Pre-dug beach holes in Katwijk

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 8:51 am

The city of Katwijk is going to pay students to dig holes at the beach which can then be rented out to tourists for an expected 4.50 euro a day, Algemeen Dagblad reports (Dutch). Apart from doing its bit to help fight the economic crisis, the Citymarketing Katwijk foundation also insists these holes fill a real need. This is borne out, the foundation claims, by a poll held among 300 people.

A popular view among the Dutch is that German tourists like to dig holes when ‘occupying’ a Dutch beach, but the foundation says it’s not just our Eastern neighbours who expressed interest in Katwijk’s rent-a-holes.

Katwijk is located at the mouth of the Old Rhine, a river that stopped having major economic import when it silted up around 1,000 A.D.

Photo of the sea at Katwijk by Michael Brys, some rights reserved. Via Z24 (Dutch).

Tags: , , , , ,

May 14, 2008

Miffy and the village marketing scheme

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 10:21 am

A little over 50 years ago Miffy, one of the Netherlands’ biggest export ‘products’, was introduced to the world by her creator Dick Bruna in a book that described how she lived in the dunes of Egmond aan Zee. The village now wants to turn itself into a “Nijntje” village (Dutch for Miffy and pronounced somewhere between NAYN-CHE and NINE-CHE). To do this the village association will place direction signs with a Miffy motif on the beach, and will build a Miffy boat that will be placed on the Nijntje aan Zee Pleintje. The latter is a pun, for “pleintje” is the diminutive of “plein,” square. The city of Utrecht already has a Nijntje Pleintje which was designed by Bruna’s son Marc.

The Nijntje aan Zee Pleintje will be located at the main beach entrance. The boat will be a pinck, a type of flat-bottom fishing vessel that was developed locally and used from the 17th through the 19th century when it stopped being competitive.

Via webregio.nl (Dutch). Source image: nijntje.nl.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,