In the wake of international headlines about police searching for terrorists, the Belgian capital is attempting to rescue its image by inviting curious foreigners to “call Brussels” and ask the Belgians any question they want. The website call.brussels shows you the phone-booths placed around the city, and allows you to view the person you're calling in real time thanks to cameras positioned nearby. Naturally tons of newspapers wrote about this novel idea, making it a 'free PR win' for the city. Random Brussels people offer advice like "get on the plane, right now, come visit" and assure callers that there's no people running around in the streets with guns and bombs. The event/stunt was only live for 5 days with three phone booths, but I have this nagging feeling it'll backfire. 1/10 needs more Smurfs.
Over the past few weeks, the international media has portrayed Brussels as a war zone that tourists would do well to avoid. This has obviously had dire consequences for the tourist sector, which is currently experiencing a noticeable decline. Who better than the people of Brussels to answer the questions that tourists hesitant about travelling to Brussels might have...
In order to foster exchanges between the main players of tourism in Brussels (namely tourists from the following countries: France, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain) and the people of Brussels, visit.brussels set up telephone boxes in three emblematic locations of the Brussels-Capital Region: at the Mont des Arts, on the Place Flagey and on the Place Communale in Molenbeek. Passers-by will be able to answer questions from foreign tourists. A great opportunity for the people of Brussels to defend their Region.
From 7 January to 11 January, 12688 phone calls were made from 154 countries. The campaign was exported to the entire world: from neighbouring countries to The United States, Japan, Brazil and even Australia. 74 % were international phone calls. The action was also widely followed on social media. The hashtag #CallBrussels was used all over the world and became the most popular hashtag in Belgium at its launch. Over 9,317,000 people have seen the hashtag.
Advertising Agency: Air, Brussels, Belgium
Executive Creative Director: Eric Hollander
Creative Directors: Dieter de Ridder & Joeri Van Den Broeck
Creatives: Julien Scouze Riviezzo, Sébastien Stronghead Verliefde
Head of Digital Production: Greg Pin
Digital Project Manager: Maxime Van Santen
Account Manager: Daphné De le Vingne
Designer: Maxime Douillet
Producer: Bérengère Lurquin
Press Relations: Whyte - Eveline De Ridder, Arianne Goossens, Wim Lefebure
Media: Christine Jean / Initiative Belgium
Web Development: Globule Bleu
Engineers: Teken & Maak
Phone System: Aircall