Dracula Reloaded, a New Leaf
For a long time, we all avoided at any cost to put Dracula in the spotlight, as a vector of promoting Romania. There were disparate attempts, but the general trend was a definitive NO. We were instinctively ashamed of him, for a somewhat justified reason: is that all that represents us? The question, however, remains, even in the current context of revitalising the idea of using the bloody vampire in our advantage. I repeat: is that all that represents us? A bloody character invented by a writer, located in a dark part of the world and popularised by Hollywood.
I’m already beginning to imagine a tourist slogan like “Welcome to Dracula Land” and edited images with dark castles against a background depicting a sunset sky, vampires flying overhead and a long, cadaverous figure with a pair of bloody canines, wearing a long, black cloak with a high collar. Pure and vintage Hollywood, but made modern. Brrrrr. Rightly so, those who have asked themselves the question already: is that all that represents us? – are entitled to do so. The Dracula concept is good because it activates already known areas in the global collective mindset, that’s true. From South Africa to the United States and Japan, Dracula is telling his story while also specifying his location. So far, so good, but further? Can we merge the culture, nature, traditions, landscapes and uniqueness we have with this vector? The Danube Delta? The monasteries in Bucovina and Moldova? Our simple way of living and our connection with nature, something that we can still encounter in Transylvania and in the countryside? Transhumance? Cultural diversity? Traian Vuia? Brancuși? Our plum brandy? The Dracula vector simply sucks everything up, like a vampire, leaving no other idea to grow next to him. How can I talk about the Table of Silence and the fortified churches in Transylvania after showing the world those bloody canines!?
On the other hand, Dracula and Transylvania are two inseparable concepts. Could I promote tourism in Moldova or in the Danube Delta with the help of Dracula!? And this is how a small SWOT of the concept is born; as to this, as you get deeper and deeper, you only find negative arguments about it, but you should see a positive one. Or partly positive because, in fact, it highlights ugly things: vampirism, spikes, morbidity, dark lands and so on.
Pragmatically speaking, the revitalization of the idea of Dracula in promoting Romania is a proof of geographical laziness, lack of imagination and responsibility, because we do nothing but take over something, which is, again, created by others, to which we have no real contribution. Just like the leaf I bought for 200 dollars from a picture library on the internet, our current “country brand”. It is simply up to us to think of something that will really make us stand out, make us look positive, beautiful, interesting, special, unique if possible, using an attractive combination made by taking into account several degrees of information.
All of the reliable brand consultants in Romania have written about and expressed their opinions, which have been endorsed for years. The result: no decision maker has noticed.
And so we have the chance to become – for real now, actually certified, with international media campaigns, lobbying and PR – the country of Transylvanian vampires, who make robbery flights in Moldova and in the Danube Delta – otherwise it cannot be explained why the whole Romania is Dracula Land; whose victims are mainly the Roma, that’s the only possible reason why they would all travel all over Europe, to escape from their self-made repercussions.
Later edit, I missed something. I find the use of the idea of Dracula Land in a regional context interesting, but not in a national and international one. Regional, like where it would be justified for such an idea to exist, in its place of origin. Which means in a county, or maybe even less than that. In fact, a large community of localities could take full advantage of this idea. But only those.