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'Bucharest not Budapest!': Romanian campaign aims to end the confusion

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'Bucharest not Budapest!': Romanian campaign aims to end the confusion


Romania is taking action to put an end to the confusion between its capital city and Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

The two capital cities have long been the cause of bewilderment, embarrassing the likes of Michael Jackson, Iron Maiden, Lenny Kravitz, Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica, to name but a few.

“Yes, Iron Maiden started their Bucharest concert with a loud “Hello, Budapest”. Yes, there is a five minute YouTube video with Ozzy Osbourne struggling to get the difference between Bucharest and Budapest. Yes, the list can go on. But the truth is that every Romanian knows a story about someone mistaking Bucharest for Budapest. And even the funny moments hurt the Romanian ego a little bit,” said Catalin Dobre, Executive Creative Director of McCann, Bucharest.

The confusion reached new heights in 2012, when 400 Athletic Bilbao fans flew to Budapest, rather than Bucharest, for the Europa League final, unintentionally sparing themselves the heartbreak of a 3-0 defeat.

After decades of quietly brushing off the ignorance of celebrities and regular travellers alike, Bucharest has decided to put a end to the confusion on the eve of Iron Maiden’s return to the city.

Rom Autentic, a traditional Romanian chocolate manufacturer has launched a campaign in association with McCann Bucharest and MRM Romania, which aims to address the issue once and for all.

The campaign, “Bucharest not Budapest” invites supporters to join their website, where they will find a “free anti-confusion tour”, it also provides a video manifesto, giving examples of the confusion, as well as a gallery of mistakes and opportunities for people to share their own stories. Nir Refuah, Chief Creative Officer MRM Romania outlines the campaign and shares the despair of the people of Bucharest:

“Bucharest people are sick and tired of people mistaking Bucharest with Budapest! Therefore we recruited all media channels, digital and offline, in order to end the confusion. The campaign includes online banners, a dynamic website, browser add-ons, billboards and outdoor, PR and social media activations. We hope that when this campaign ends, the world will know – it’s Bucharest, not Budapest!!”

Hungary has also joined in the campaign, placing billboards near Ferenc Liszt International Airport.

ROM Autentic, the masterminds behind the push, are no strangers to high-profile ad campaigns. In 2011, they won nine Lions at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival with “American Rom”, and in 2012 they won three Lions for their ‘Romanians are Smart’ campaign, credited for helping change how Romania is perceived around the world.

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