Multilingual Business Communication

April 10, 2009

An illusionary street campaign

Filed under: Frauke De Graeve, marketing communication, Uncategorized — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 3:25 pm


This nice piece of street art was to be seen in Stockholm. It was designed by the American artist Kurt Wenner  on commission of Absolut Vodka.

This spectacular and beautiful example of a illusionary street campaign is a 3D chalk drawing on the pavement in a park. The print was part of the brand’s prestigious art ad series. The creation of Wenner’s art was also filmed by Absolut Vodka for a television commercial.


In the beginning, street art, which is any art developed in public places, was used to show activism and to create a powerful platform for reaching a large public.

Graffiti is the most popular and most known form of street art. Street art is popular, alive and kicking. There is even a website that is like a database, on which all street art in the world is indicated.


As street marketers must always be up-to-date and innovative, they use the latest and talked-about ways to surprise the people. They picked up on this trend and made artists design wonderful art ads.


Other examples designed by Kurt Wenner are the campaign for Microsoft’s X-game Gear of War and the Honda Formula 1 for Lucky Strike Racing.



Frauke De Graeve


Homophobia in sports? Not in Ghent

Filed under: internship, marketing communication, Ruth Broekaert — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 12:52 pm

City marketing is now booming. More and more cities are explicitly positioning themselves amongst their competitors by emphasizing their points of difference. An essential part of city marketing is to clearly state the city’s core values. Even before the city marketing boom, Ghent has always been known for its leading role among others Flemish cities in promoting equal opportunities and diversity. Now, they want to do even more and take it a step further.

That is why the city of Ghent has teamed up with the Holebi Federation to organize the very first Belgian ‘Holebi sportdag’, a sports day for bi-, homo- and heterosexuals. A lot of prominent people from in and around Ghent will be present to sign a charter against homophobia in sports. Why you ask? Of course because doing sports is fun for all! But this is also Ghent’s way of sharing its core values. This sports day is an ideal way to show everyone that there is no need for discrimination or homophobia in the macho world of sports, or anywhere else for that matter.

So sign up for one or more sports activities, from beach mix to highland games, or just come and cheer for the soccer match between the Pink Devils (a gay soccer team) and the soccer team of the Ghent police department. Queer or straight, don’t be square and be there at the Blaarmeersen on the 9th of march!

Ruth Broekaert

April 9, 2009

The new Tata Nano: the road to success is wide open.

Filed under: business communication, marketing communication, Nina Vermaesen — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 4:14 pm


Tata Nano is the world’s cheapest and smallest car. The tiny car was introduced to the press two weeks ago and can now be bought for the equally tiny amount of 1500 euro.


In general, car sales have spiralled down due to the credit crunch. One might therefore think that the launch of the Nano at this difficult time is a dangerous move. But times and consumers are changing, and Tata Motors, the company that produces the tiny cars, is smart and daring enough to go along with these changes now.


On the one hand, the Tata Nano responds to the worldwide trend of smaller cars. This trend has been developing for a couple of years now, but given the current financial crisis it has definitely increased. On the other hand, consumers have become more aware of the ecological problems and really want to improve their ecological footprint. What’s more, a car used to be a status symbol, but nowadays that prestige has largely disappeared. The objective of Tata Motors is to create “a car for the people”, offering common people the opportunity to enjoy a car, no matter how tiny that car is.


The tiny Tata Nano thus meets all the requirements of today’s consumers. Exit Jaguar, Porsche or Hummer. Welcome Tata Nano!



Ghent University wants to win their students’ hearts and minds

Filed under: Hannelore Blomme, marketing communication, Uncategorized — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 2:09 pm

You cannot miss it: Ghent University is conquering the city. With the help of a huge marketing campaign using the slogan ‘dare to think’, the university aims to attract new students, but also to evoke a sense of pride amongst students, professors and alumni. The campaign involves huge posters visible everywhere in the city: at nearly every bus station, inside every tram and bus and at railway stations. Moreover, ads can be found in newspapers and magazines. And the top of the bill: a huge interactive screen was placed at the ‘Zuid’ square in the centre of the city. Passers-by are invited to give their opinion about bold statements.


The sentence ‘Dare to think’ is very cunningly chosen: it can easily be adapted in a very creative way: examples are ‘Dare to choose’, ‘Dare to read between the lines’, etc.

Some may comment that it is not really clear to whom the campaign is directed, but does that matter? The aim is to improve the university’s image in everybody’s mind: members of the university, members of other universities, inhabitants of the city, alumni, etc. I think the campaign is very original and I hope it wins many prizes!

One minor detail, though: the slogan in Dutch, ‘Durf Denken’, actually contains a mistake against Dutch grammar. The ANS (Algemene Nederlandse Spraakkunst) sais you need a ‘te’ in your sentence after a conjugated form of durven. It should be ‘durf te denken’. (There are exceptions, but in this case, ‘te’ is absolutely needed, check out However, in Belgium almost everybody ignores that rule anyway, so I really don’t mind… as long as it sounds catchy, which it does!

Belgacom goes Ping Ping

Filed under: business communication, marketing communication, Vanessa Vanleene — Tags: , , , — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 10:06 am

Get ready for the next and logical step in the ever evolving world of consumerism.


Belgacom, one of the major Belgian providers of integrated telecommunication services, will be offering a new service called Ping Ping. The company intends to present the possibility to use your cell phone as an electronic wallet for small amounts of money.


Belgacom bought Tunz, a small Belgian company specialised in payments via phone. With the new investment, Belgacom took quite a bold step given the fact that up until now merely 3000 users were interested in Tunz’ services. Tunz’ customers could use their phone to make payments from 6 to 150 euro. Only 2.500 shop owners are registered for now, but new deals have been made with Delhaize and Coca Cola.

Belgacom fittingly believes the future is bright as they intend to offer wireless transactions with transportation companies, fast food restaurants and vending machines.


Previously, great successes were booked when Belgacom bought Mobile-for, which offered the practical possibility to pay for parking tickets and de Lijn’s transportation services via text message.




Vanessa Vanleene





“Belgacom mikt op mobiele betaalmarkt” De Standaard, 18 march 2009, p. E12

“Uw gsm dient ook als portemonnee” De Standaard, 24 march 2009, p. E12


April 8, 2009

Infrabel campaign hits like a train

Filed under: business communication, marketing communication — Tags: , , — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 8:22 pm

Since the end of March 2009, we are being confronted with Infrabel’s new sensitizing campaign. The shocking effect of the visuals causes a lot of discussion. Is it really necessary for this kind of campaign to contain such horrid images?

Infrabel campaign

The shocking Infrabel videos seem to follow a trend in the sensitizing government campaigns created to reduce the traffic toll. Billboards asking how many children have to die before we start driving slower are normal practise. But are shocking visuals more effective than a more neutral sensitizing campaign? We all know that the more one gets to see a certain image of cruelty, the more one starts to take this for granted. We are all convinced that horror does not happen to us. We tend to look away.

I have often crossed the level crossing before the sign tells me I can. Nothing ever happened. This might put me on a par with smokers denying that their lungs look like the ones on packets of cigarettes. Yet I also need to admit that I thought twice before ignoring the light signs after I saw Infrabel’s video. Will I ignore them again, though? Probably.

So the question remains if shocking campaigns really are effective. I tend to answer negatively.

April 7, 2009

Filed under: internship, marketing communication, Séverine De Ryck — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 4:37 pm


In May, I will start my internship at SBS Belgium in Zaventem. This company is part of the German ProSiebenSat.1 Media Group. Maybe these names don’t sound familiar to you, but you will definitely know the Flemish commercial t.v. channels VT4 and VijfTV. Although the two channels are clearly related to each other, they both have their own target group and marketing strategy.

VT4 started broadcasting on 1 February 1995, and is aimed to young people from 15 to 44 year old. The broadcasting station started without a Belgian license and got round the Flemish rules by transmitting with a U-turn construction from the UK. After some image switches, the current VT4 house style and logo were introduced in 2002. Since then, self-made Belgian programs are its core business, of which the most famous are Peking Express, Temptation Island, Het Hotel, Huizenjacht etc. These programs represent the main values of the broadcast channel: Friends, Adventure, Temptation and Attitude. VT4 has an average market share of 10%.

In October 2004, VijfTV was launched as a sister channel of VT4. Its target group are women between 20 and 49 years old. Soon this well-orientated channel had a market share of some 5 %. It is famous for its programs ‘Komen Eten’, ‘Help mijn man is een klusser’, ‘Droomhuis onder de zon’ etc, but it also scores with ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’.

During my traineeship, I’ll work on the Press Relations department. I’ll scan the newspapers and magazines to see what is written about SBS’s programs and employees. I’ll write press releases, and organize press conferences. I’m very glad that I get the chance to work for this modern and challenging company, as I am a frequent watcher of its programs myself! I’ll do anything in my power to make the viewing figures skyrocket!

How to make your website stand out of the crowd

Filed under: Aisling van Vliet, marketing communication — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 2:33 pm

What has happened to libraries books has happened to internet sites too: no-one can find them! So I was thinking about what it is that makes some websites stand out from others. We all know that Google has a head start concerning popular search engines, but which website makes it to number one?

As I was surfing for the most popular website, I bumped into a website called which is an English website that lists the top ten websites of the year structured by category. The best social profit site of 2008 for example, is As I return to my question: ‘What makes a website stand out of the crowd?” I find a threefold answer: excellent content, navigation and web design that appeal to the target group. Looking at the web design of, it is directly clear that it targets (young) women. The visual and verbal tools that are used succeed in engaging women between 15-35 years of age. There is also a clear structure with a navigation tool on the left hand side to guide visitors through the site. As for content, the website finds a healthy balance between giving relevant information and receiving feedback. By providing blogs it also has a greater chance of having the visitor return to the site.

Now that we know why certain websites turn more heads than others, we still have the problem of finding them. So, maybe a fourth important element to being a winning website is marketing your website. If no-one knows about your website than the three other elements really loose a lot of their relevance. So make sure to market your website on popular search engines like Google and Yahoo. Network with other relevant websites and have a link to your website on theirs. If you really want to build up traffic you can always create an affiliate program and have as many websites promote your website as you want as long as you are prepared to pay them for it!

For more relevant info on making a website that won’t be passed by unnoticed surf to the following website:

Aisling van Vliet

Creating an exciting environment to reach customers: sponsorship

Filed under: Aisling van Vliet, marketing communication, Uncategorized — Tags: — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 12:42 pm

As we know, many companies are faced with having to personalize their marketing. New marketing strategies apply and new marketing communication channels are used to reach a whole range of unique consumers. Somewhere along the way consumers have become partners and companies have had to find less obvious ways to reach consumers and creative sponsorship might just be the key.

An example of creative sponsorship marketing is the Aktia Bank case. This Finnish Bank wanted to attract young people to their bank and sponsored Hype the Musical to do so. They partnered up with a musical about the biggest rock festival in Finland and launched their new Hype bankcard for young people during the event. As soon as young people entered the hall, it was obvious to them that Aktia sponsored the event though not intrusive. After a two month long sponsorship and thanks to the large success of the musical, Aktia saw its share in young customers increase with 40% and 30% of the passive young customers of Aktia reactivated their bank account with them. The overall impact of the sponsorship boasted Aktia’s image and the interest in the Hype Card tremendously (

This case might be an encouragement to social profit organizations. If they are able to attract the right sponsor through convincing them about the ROI of their sponsorship, finding funds won’t be such a struggle.

Aisling van Vliet

Second Life as the new market place

Filed under: Aisling van Vliet, marketing communication — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 10:09 am

Since its public opening in 2003, Second Life has expanded to a virtual global world that has millions of virtual inhabitants. Besides providing virtual gay bars and casino’s, Second Life also offers companies a great marketing space.

Cisco, the leading supplier of networking equipment, soon realized Second Life’s marketing potential and is using it as a major marketing and networking tool. Besides arranging virtual meetings with its employees and offering extensive customer training through Second Life, Cisco uses it as a tool for customer interaction. The company presents its products using PowerPoint and video presentations and offers feedback to customers concerning their questions about certain products. Christian Renaud, chief architect of networked virtual environments for Cisco states that the real value of Second Life for Cisco is the opportunity for spontaneous customer interaction (the InformationWeek Blog).

In an era of increasing globalisation and technologisation, virtual worlds like Second Life could become an intrinsic part of marketing and business communication.

If you’d like to know more about Second Life and its business potential you can look up the following sites:

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