Damn Good (Greek) Advice


On June 14, 1985, a TWA plane en route from Athens to Rome was hijacked by terrorists.

U.S President Ronald Reagan holds a press conference. He warns Americans to stay away from the "dangerous" Athens airport.

After that press conference, travel to Greece practically stopped.

Hotels were empty. Cruise ships were losing money. This was a potential tourism industry disaster.

The Greek economy was in BIG trouble.

So the Greek Tourist Board gets in touch with ad legend George Lois. They beg him to come up with some magic idea to save their tourist season.

Then Lois has an "A-HA" moment,

What if I get 39 celebrities to make testimonials saying they're “going home to Greece”?! The birthplace of democracy, “where it all began.”

The campaign I’m going home...to Greece! was born.

But there was a twist.

Instead of recruiting Greek American celebrities, Lois recruited American celebs of non-Greek ancestry. And offered them a free week's trip for two to Greece.

The commercial ended getting a lot of free press from US TV networks. And the Greek economy ended enjoying a glorious tourist season. It's best ever.

Another great example that creativity can solve any problem.

P.S. This piece was originally posted in my Nishi weekly newsletter where I share colorful thoughts on copywriting + loads of helpful resources and interesting stories. Subscribe to my newsletter here.

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