The Brussels government has launched a €4-million “city marketing” campaign to boost tourism more than a year after the Brussels attacks. The ads feature Smurfs.

A little more than a year after the attacks in Brussels, the Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region, Rudi Vervoort has launched yesterday a campaign for international positioning of the city.
Hotel occupancy was 29% in March 2016, rising to 71% in 2017. Visitor numbers for museums and attractions in the Belgian capital have also increased by 11% compared to last year. This new campaign was designed to continue this dynamic and complement the previous efforts. “Many actions have been made immediately after the attacks and they are bringing results. This new campaign represents an additional step”, said Rudi Vervoort.

City marketing

The sum of € 4 million was devoted to this campaign which runs under the theme “Where will Brussels take you?”. Michael Verschueren, the CEO of the agency Wunderman Brussels (who is behind the campaign), explained that the campaign targets primarily European countries: France, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy.

Concretely, posters were placed in the metro stations and airports of the major European cities and a video clip was produced by the Belgian Nicolas Karakatsanis. On the digital level, the campaign will be available on social networks, and an online platform has been created:, allowing people a chance to discover a Brussels that does not exist in the usual travel guides. The idea is to “uncover the hidden secrets of our Region,” added the Minister-President. Ambassadors have also been charged with embodying the campaign, such as Eddy Merckx, Laura Beyne and the Smurfs. The Smurfs – iconic characters from the Belgian comic strip world, will invade the major European cities: Paris, Rome, Madrid, London, Berlin, Amsterdam … to attract Europeans to Brussels. Finally, a contest will be organized each week in the coming six months, allowing people a chance to win a free weekend in the European capital.

Source: L’Echo.