An advertisement created for a local grocery store chain on the island of Crete is going viral and my personal inbox is getting filled with commentary from my friends and some strangers after I posted it on my Facebook page as a “must see” video.
The commercial is for INKA, a chain of local grocery stores in Hania that support locally grown produce and products. Created by a talented group of folks at the production company Indigoview, the spot features a scene from World War II and the German occupation and a family listening to a radio report announcing the German invasion of the island encouraging resistance.
At the end of the ad, when German-speaking invaders are at the family’s door, the supertitles state:
“Back then, we resisted.”
“Today, the enemy has changed shape.”
“INKA encourages that we select local products from local businesses”
“We give our children work.”
“INKA, we prefer local products.”
No doubt a powerful message— and a controversial one for many.
A dear friend derided me for supporting this “borderline racist” message and was shocked that I found the commercial to be amongst the best that I have ever seen.
“You should support local produce,” he wrote. “You shouldn’t make anything foreign be the enemy. The concept alone is shocking and borderline racist,” my friend wrote.
I explained to him— and many others who felt similarly, that I respectfully disagreed and that it was the intention of the ad to stir and provoke the local population into action. Crete (and all of Greece, for that matter) is facing an existential threat and any attempt to support local farmers and local products is a good one— even if it takes the viewer back to World War II when the threat was a different one.
Others shared the video, calling it “brilliant and provocative” and another friend who lives in Hania said the ad reminded him of the importance to “shop local”.
Bearing in mind that the ad was produced for a local population and a local chain of grocery stores on Crete— I’m curious to hear everyone’s feedback on this issue and encourage comment, below. Is this “borderline racist” as my dear friend believes? Or was this ad “brilliant and provocative to a point that reminds me to support products from my region and country” as another person wrote?
Watch the video and share your feedback below. Curious to see the debate unfold.
[vimeo id=”92212066″ width=”600″ height=”350″]
Good for INKA. The Cretans have always been big on eating and shopping local. The island grows practically everything but when globalization gives you hot house tomatoes from Belgium (in the middle of summer) for a cheaper price – some Greeks are just trying to put food on the table. Greeks should double up and buy local and Greek. I cringe when I see TV "chefs" using foreign food items when Greece has a wealth of fabulous food items. Bravo INKA.
I did not think it was racist or xenophobic at all!
It is an amazing piece of work and I have never felt my heart race during a commercial !
It’s incredibly effective!!
I loved it!
I have never had my heart racing during a commercial! Incredibly effective, and not racist or xenophobic! That 's a silly assertion!
nice marketing practice dont you think http://www.madata.gr/epikairotita/social/341526.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook
This is one of the best if not the best commercials I have seen from an artistic point of view but I find the content totally unacceptable and offensive. One should not use such extreme historical memories to promote support of the local industry. Can you imagine GM using Pearl Harbor references to promote the sale of American cars, saying the enemy has changed form? If I find myself in Crete (soon I hope) I ll avoid INKA Supermarkets. I must point out that I strongly support the consumption of local products. It is good for the economy , it is good for the environment but let's use logical arguments, not cheap tricks to trigger emotions.
INKA is a business. I find totally unacceptable for a business to exploit for commercial purposes the proud history of us Cretans. Instead they should concentrate on the value and the quality of their product.
I think this “advertisement” is over the top, unnecessary, and insulting. It takes advantage of traumatic historical events for the purposes of marketing. That is simply terrible and borders on inhumane. Not to mention the idea that it promotes racism and hatred among fellow human beings. 🙁 I would boycott this company. Shame on them for stooping that low. There are other ways to draw attention to the need for buying local products.
The commercial delivers a powerful message but paralleling the Nazi invasion with modern day shopping practices is too exploitive of history. Greeks choose to shop, they are not forced to shop. BUY LOCAL is an international movement and a personal choice. I applaud the film makers for delivering a powerful message but was it appropriate – I think not.
I get the point but it is a streeeetch… Emotionally baiting people with such evocative comparisons… Halkiadakis has been supporting local Cretan products in his supermarkets for decades and even more so since the crisis and didn't have to use such a dark scary message to package his product.
This is borderline XA tactics… Scaring people and making such comparisons. Yes there is an economic war today happening instead and EU trade cronyism, etc. but have we compared the quality of some Greek (not specifically Cretan) animal farming with other neighboring countries- you would be shocked to see which you would prefer regarding conditions, inspections, regulations, etc. The Greek news did a comparison of lamb farmers last year with Bulgarian. You would choose the Bulgarian after what they found.
Truth be told.
Support local and support high standards. No bogeyman commercials necessary.
It is powerful. It gets us talking. It jars us into reconsidering. From a marketing perspective, it has cut through the clutter, and for that it is effective.
While invoking a horrible memory may be a harsh approach, one could say that hard times call for it. Logic may work for some, but consumers are people and people are oftentimes driven by emotion. So let’s take cost out of the equation as that would be logic. Right now, the consumers emotionally choose brands based on how they make them look or fit in amongst their friends neighbors. Status is emotionally driven. So when you have to debunk one emotion, you have to use another. Logic seldom works to unseat emotional connections.
Mr. Taketzis says that we would not see Pearl Harbor used this way, but I disagree. Mini Cooper featured a billboard near ground zero to unveil zenon that used the lights glowing up towards the sky as headlights. Think about how Rosie the Riveter is used nowadays – from WD40, to Swiffer to Tampons. Now THAT is cheap – it is using something heartbreaking for something trivial. Reviving a broken local economy deserves every emotion we can put into it. And for that reason, I’d seek out INKA to support them.
…"Bearing in mind that the ad was produced for a local population and a local chain of grocery stores on Crete"…
INKA is a Consumer organization and NOT a chain of grocery stores.
Please don't be disoriented by "consumer organisation" … These type of organizations have nothing to do with similar American organizations.
Here in Greece they represent a handful of obscure money spending orgs (so called non Government Orgs) financed by taxpayers and other European funds.
Once the Greek economic crisis has reduced their financing… it is obvious they went on to " climb the fences"!
I consider this video a shameful form of populism, with nothing to envy of the worst racism and fascism propaganda tricks.
ΘΑΥΜΑΣΤΕ ΑΝΤΙΣΤΑΣΗ :
I totally agree with you. I think this idea should be applied everywhere. Although globalization is a good idea it has had a negative effect.
Congrats Greg for once again provoking such an engaged discussion. Mark of a good communicator!
To the connection drawn in the INKA ad (admittedly backed by purely profit making motivations) let me add the following:
Over the past several years, the German leadership pressures Greece to repay questionably calculated loan and loan interest debts, leading to a humanitarian crisis.
In 1941-42, German leadership drained all of the country’s human and material resources and all on-going production of every short, to support its military operations throughout Europe and beyond, leading to the well remembered famine that killed a great portion of our generation’s grant-parents and uncles/ants
In the 1870s, German leadership pressured Greece to repay questionably calculated loan and loan interest debts, leading to the country’s bankruptcy under Trikoupi’s government and to the beginnings of the kingdom vs non-kingdom conflict that has marked the darkest most in humane chapter of Greece’s existence ever since. Oh, and the king we are talking about was “gifted” to Greece by the German then leadership.
No value judgement; just listing observations. And I don’t need to be reminded as an antipode of all the behavioral, temperamental, cultural, and petty expressions of ignorance and narrow self-served ness often expressed by the our actions; the actions of Greeks. I am aware of them, have lived them, and have also probably expressed them at some stage. None of that however can provide an excuse to undermine the previous observations 🙂
…. grandparents …. aunts …. 😉
Perfect, thought provoking TRUTH. It takes guts
to stand up for what we believe in in today’s
society. The truth was, is, and always will be just
that, the TRUTH. Every society has the right to stand up for their people. Greece always gave and still gives to EVERYONE, its time to take care of their own too. What would the people who gave up their lives to just what we saw happening in the commercial say?! Or to what is happening to our country today?? POSOS KOSMOS EXEI XENITEYTEI GIA TON PARA GIA NA ZHSEI?? POSOS AKOMH PREPEI NA FYGEI GIA NA TO KATALAVOYME?? SIXARITIRIA KAI BRAVO SAS! MAGGIA SAS! KAI
In Greece I've always shopped the laiki for friuts and Vegetables.Always supporting Greek agriculture and buying whats in season.Here in America, I choose to grow my own produce. I totally dislike the GMO produce thats available in U.S supermarkets.Organic is available at almost 3 to 4 times the cost of regular supermarket produce.As far as the commercial in question? Don't like.INKA could have got it point across a different way.Burying Cretan and locally should be about Greece moving forward.I can't compare todays economic crisis with the Nazi occupation of the early 1940s.Back then Greeks were starved into submission. Today its all about choice.
In Greece I’ve always shopped the laiki for friuts and Vegetables.Always supporting Greek agriculture and buying whats in season.Here in America, I choose to grow my own produce. I totally dislike the GMO produce thats available in U.S supermarkets.Organic is available at almost 3 to 4 times the cost of regular supermarket produce.As far as the commercial in question? Don’t like.INKA could have got it point across a different way.Burying Cretan and locally should be about Greece moving forward.I can’t compare todays economic crisis with the Nazi occupation of the early 1940s.Back then Greeks were starved into submission. Today its all about choice.
The idea of supporting local business's is fine. Wonderful, even. But this ad is obnoxious. There are better ways to promote buying local. Shameful to stoop so low. The audience are not idiots.
Also, buying local is important to EVERY country – lets not pretend Greece is alone in this battle. But Globalization is not going anywhere anytime soon and it won't be "stopped" over a couple of filthy little advertisements. While you condemn foreign products as the enemy of Greece, you promote foreign TOURISM as a major money maker. The ad isn't fooling anyone. Not to mention exploiting those who genuinely suffered at the hands of a real enemy…
greek are so awesome soooo awesome that they forget who they are …..
Brilliant! Using history in advertising. I see nothing offensive about it. It's history, not xenophobic! The local farmers need to be supported world wide.
Fantastic commercial that requires respect. Promoting local produce in all countries is good for the environment and reduces external shocks to economies.
I wish I could shop there! It speaks to my childish memories of growing up there and the stories I heard from my mom and yiayia who lived through that time
Survival is what the Greeks have had to put into practice for centuries. This is a very thought provoking ad. Greeks are very expressive. I think it's brilliant!
Wow…amazing and provocative….I am Cretan.
Epitelous!!! Now we are talking!!! O Epimenon Elli NIka!