Topics: BDS

Can Israel Become a Popular Brand?

What do young people around the world really think of Israel?

Survey finds BDS is making people like Israel more.
Nati Shohat/Flash90

What do you think about Israel? That’s the question a new effort to improve the image of the Jewish state asked young adults between the ages of 21-40 from the US, Europe, South America and Australia.

Conducted by Vibe Israel, a new initiative aimed at turning the Jewish state into a positive brand name, the survey found that 89% of the 3,700 participants said they knew very little about the country.

When the young adults were asked about the anti-Israel movement known as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), only 18% responded that they were even aware of it. Ninety percent said they didn’t know anything about the pro-Palestinian campaign. If that is surprising, 35% of those who said they were familiar with BDS also believe that the negative campaign has inadvertently caused Israel’s image to improve in their eyes!

Lessons learned

What can we learn from these statistics? That the way Israel promotes its image needs to be upgraded for the younger generation. 

Vibe, an independent non-profit, has come up with a plan to “rebrand” the Jewish state. The initiate believes that the best way to education young people is to market Israel like a company promotes a desirable and respected brand name. 

The other side of Israel

“We are implementing an innovative way of improving the image of Israel to the world,” said Joanna Landau, founder and CEO of Vibe. “In the past, Israeli institutions focused too much on the conflict. We want to market Israel like a recognized brand name,” she noted. “We show the other side of the Jewish state. Whether it is the culture, businesses, industry or hi-tech,” Landau said.

The flagship effort of the initiative is publishing the experiences of under-40 bloggers, YouTubers and Instagram influencers while in the country. “We bring large groups of social media influencers for tours of Israel that are focused on specific topics like fashion, music, culinary and more,” Landau said. “Already we have brought more than 250 influences to Israel and have accumulated more than a billion positive responses on social media around the world,” she said.

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