Published April 13, 2007
Apparently, the world at large has little or no idea that Iceland even exists, or at least it would have a hard time finding it on the map. This has been scientifically proven (as close to being science as anything else in marketing anyway) by the arbiter on nation branding, Simon Anholt. To you, the unlucky tourist who accidentally stumbled upon this island, I have this advice: The natives are friendly and well spoken and will happily direct you back to the airport.
To you, the cheating Icelander who probably ripped this copy out of the hands of a departing foreigner, I assure you that the cavalry is here. The Grapevine is launching an extensive campaign to rebrand Iceland. Taking our cue from various marketing wizkids, we have designed a new Coat of Arms for Iceland, selecting the most popular icons used to market our glorious nation: the world’s strongest men, the slutty blonde, Keiko the Killer Whale, and last but not least, the Puffin. Every one of these national emblems has at one point or another been used in marketing campaigns to attract attention to Iceland, Icelandic companies, and/or institution. If you cannot trust the wisdom of the market, who can you trust?
Look for this new and improved Coat of Arms to appear on T-shirts, coffee-mugs, frisbees, and key-chains in tourist stores around the country. There is no stopping us now, so look out world; here come the Vikings! (Not the Minnesota ones).
While on the subject of Minnesota, or the US in general (New Jersey to be exact), allow me this opportunity to extend an apology on behalf of my country to Uwe Reinhardt, professor of political economy at Princeton University. I understand that his mailbox is overflowing with letters from angry Icelanders who failed to mark the satire when he recently suggested that
Iceland might be a more fitting target than Iran for a US-led invasion in a recent article
For those Icelanders who fear the oncoming US-invasion (perhaps there was an underlying reason for closing down the US military base in Keflavík), fear not. The Grapevine staff has doctored a detailed plan for a backdoor invasion into the US. (The road leads through Mexico, that is all I can reveal) using Minister for Justice, Björn “Iron Lung” Bjarnason’s soon-to-be established semi-military police force. After all, why go through the trouble of creating a Coat of Arms, if there is no army to coat?
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