There are all sort of commercials, ads and promo campaigns we are brutally exposed on a daily basis. Needless to mention their questionable quality. Only abysmal portion of those reach the target and trigger  response which was expected. How to target and erupt desired actions? There is marketing section named – communication. Even better, there are specialized communication agencies who mastered this particular area. Sometimes, just go after agency and set high standard. Don’t improvise.

Background of Marketing Communication

For those not familiar with marketing communication and its main postulates I do recommend following readings: text 1, text 2, text 3, text 4, text 5, text 6 etc.

A little background statistics I found of tremendous relevance for our today’s case:

  1. Ordinary individual is daily exposed to 5000+ ads of different kinds and forms;
  2. Average number of “ads only” exposures per day: 362;
  3. Average number of “ads only” noted per day: 153;
  4. Average number of “ads only” that we have some awareness of per day: 86;
  5. Average number of “ads only” that made an impression: 12!!!

Case of HZZ (Croatian Labor Office) Promo Campaign to Enhance Employment Among Youngsters

Croatian Labor Office created promo campaign in order to support and promote different employment possibilities for the youngsters. Frankly to say, completely legitimate and reasonable campaign goal. But the problem is how they decided to materialize it.


Is something what we are going to discuss a bit closer today. Indeed, if I might add “epic” as a prefix.

Basically, HZZ created appealing and fancy promo campaign with the following video as a supporting brick. Moreover, Croatian pop singer Lana Jurčević in main role. Yes, you can already guess the atmosphere around.

Although this campaign has been lunched few months ago, I found it as an useful not-to do sample.

One might be asking what is so troubling in this campaign. Good question, which I will try to elaborate a bit more into details.

Main Issues With HZZ’s Promo Campaign

I will try to be brief and concise, although this case is great example of marketing communication done wrongly.

  1. First of all, questionable decision to engage pop singer to deliver such a strong hidden message in period of constant economic downturn: We can find you great job. If HZZ wanted to find someone to convey message in a proper and appealing manner they should have picked some young entrepreneur to say a few words on his/hers usual daily environment. Playing on a card of sexism (which HZZ did) and questionable “singer’s influence on target population” proved to be fatal fail. Fail that has cost 183.000 Kunas (cca 25.000 Euros).
  2. Technically speaking, promo video tends to mislead the audience. You must admit that in first 22 seconds (while watching fancy youth enjoying their life at full throttle) you have no clue what the video is about whatsoever. Let me guess, you thought you are watching the newest Heineken ad, or travel agency commercial, or official promo spot for the city of Trogir let’s say. Than in last few seconds you are facing scattered announcement on the campaign itself. Logical relation between first 22 seconds and second part equals – ZERO. And they even payed for this.
  3. The publicity backfired. Moreover, anger and negative sympathy arose around the promo campaign, spot and HZZ. Almost all influential portals reported on this campaign as “fail of the year which ate few thousands of tax-payers money“. As a reference you may read following articles:,,, N1 Info, etc. Do you really think public look at HZZ and their efforts graceful?
  4. The message it is supposed to deliver. Instead of trying to push youngsters toward more sophisticated businesses and areas, HZZ decided to exclusively go after tourism. OK, tourism is indeed the biggest sector in Croatia, but is’s seasonal and not highly intellect intensive sector. This is my attitude and I might be wrong, but there is a great deal of logic behind. HZZ is there to develop  and push people towards sectors that are going to boom (or already booming).

All combined led me to conclude that this promo campaign is complete and utter fail. This might be a strong statement, but I really think so. Not taking care of the message you want to deliver, how you want to deliver it, atmosphere you are expecting around the campaign, people engaged in campaign etc – the result could not be any better. One more reason why people in Balkan tends not to trust state funded institutions (more examples: Serbian Rail Ways Branding Disaster etc).

Stay tuned, more interesting stories and analysis around the corner.

BalkanMarketingStories Crew