Fellow Greeks should remember the Bring Them Back campaign; it run about a year ago and it did not end up anywhere – nor it will anytime in the foreseeable (and not) future. I was angered by that campaign and would have written something back then had my website been launched. Although probably nobody remembers this campaign nowadays I will still write about it because it is a monument of cheap and bad. It is how one *should not* plan and run campaigns.

Let’s for one minute assume that the creators of the campaign actually believed it stood a chance of achieving its goals.

The campaign was launched around the time when Greece was starting to sink in the whirlpool of the economic recession.The timing for the launch was truly unfortunate, brand Greece’s image being torn to pieces by international press and politicians. That meant very few allies, and very little international sympathy. One would expect branding agencies to at least have an idea of what the international circumstances are rather than being completely oblivious to them.

If that was not enough, the tagline for the campaign was very aggressive and somewhat greeklish. It resembles Mr. Kaklamanis proverbial attacks to the German government demanding *war reparations*, that of course resulted to the infamous Focus cover.

Bring them back is a phrase that assumes things to have been violently taken, a direct translation of greek “Φέρτα Πίσω” that gravely lacks the sophistication and international appeal that such a cause would call for. Had I been British, my reaction to “bring them back” would have been “…or what?”. Of course this tagline was a huge success amongst greek “cowboys”, all true descendants of Pericles et al.

The campaign was launched with a bang, and by bang I mean an absolutely atrocious video. It was that atrocious that it made me want to punch baby kittens in the balls. Starring in this video were Elena Katritsi (for real), metaxa brand ambassador mr. Aliagas (for real) and eccentric millionaire mr. Elginiadis (for real). Seen in context, it is a monument of low budget bad taste, poor as fuck script, lacking motion graphics and very sub-standard green screen editing. Only a blind person (no offence) would think that this video was worthy of international recognition.

The video was picked up by Radio Arvila, who being a very mainstream tv show sent heaps of traffic to bringthemback.org that responded amazingly to all that virality by well, crushing. I can only assume that the creators were not prepared for this kind of traffic, although they claim their goal was 1 million signatures.

The return of the Parthenon marbles back to Athens is a very special cause for most Greeks, so over the first few days the campaign exploded reaching 100k signatures. Without any form of long term planning behind the cause and limited demographic targeting, the public’s interest could not be sustained or infected demographic groups expanded and soon after that initial boom, interest, traffic and the campaign fell flat. The rest is history, the kind of history that nobody cares about.

Now let’s stop assuming that the creators & sponsors believed that this campaign could have a shot at bringing the marbles back to Athens. In reality it was probably just meant to get its sponsors’ names out there (Metaxa being unnecessarily all over the place). I can’t say if it achieved that not knowing Metaxa equity measurements, all I know is that I was to say the least not impressed with Metaxa treating such sensitive issues with this kind of recklessness.

All in all, it was a monumental example of how not to do things.