What happened to the Venus influencer? A mistake to abandon Instagram in the middle of the season

What happened to the Venus influencer? However you feel about the Open to Wonder campaign, it was a big mistake to abandon Instagram in the middle of the tourist season. Here's why.

She was last spotted around Taormina, then of Botticelli’s Venus ’influencer’ for Italian tourism nothing else was seen on social media. From the official Open to Wonder campaign account on Instagram “VenereItalia23” (complete with a blue checkmark), in fact, the last image advertised is from June 27. At the gates of the peak tourist season.

The Venus, as we know, was chosen by Armando Testa to create a campaign for the Ministry of Tourism and Enit that was presented at the end of April at the presentation of no less than three ministers, Daniela Santanchè (Tourism), Antonio Tajani (Foreign Affairs) and Andrea Abodi (Sports), costing 9 million euros, with the aim of using the famous Botticelli icon kept at the Uffizi to promote the “brand” Italy especially abroad: “The campaign,” Santanchè specified, “serves to sell our nation and our excellences, in a new way, never done in Italy before,” with media planning “in all the main markets: Europe, the Persian Gulf, the United States and South America, China, India, Southeast Asia and Australia.”

Ambitious project, if we go to see that the posts made so far are only 24 and the followers 187 thousand (although, speaking of followers, more than one media outlet has raised doubts that many of these are fake profiles: so one has to seriously wonder how many of those 187 thousand followers are real) and that throughout July and not even for Ferragosto the account has been signs of life. Life in social media is hectic, it takes timing, constancy, and marking territory on a daily basis... Leaving the official account, the only available social account fielded as firepower (the domain site with the claim “open to wonder” had registered it for a Tuscan as soon as he learned the news), so unprotected actually leaves one puzzled. Not that a Chinese person plans his trip in July for August (beyond the fact that Instagram in China does not use it), but surely what kills the organic indexing of a social profile is its low activity. And in this case we are at zero since June 27.

The Venus in Taormina in what is, for now, the last post in the Open to Wonder campaign
The Venus in Taormina in what is so far the last post of the Open to Wonder campaign.

If you search for “Open to Wonder” on Instagram many fake profiles appear, and this reminds us again of the long series of controversies that emerged after the presentation of the campaign. The Testa Agency, in the logic of trite as long as it is talked about, bought a page in Corriere della Sera to say that to the many mockers they could only say “thank you,” because it showed that it had hit the mark.

We don’t know whether or not there is thanks to be said now: surely launching with a big press conference a worldwide promotional campaign at the end of April and stopping the only social tool at the beginning of the season after all the controversy there has been and with all the ongoing travails on tourist flows in recent weeks does not seem the best way to quell them. By now the season is coming to a close: the Swiss ladies booking Elba Island for September for the Bridge tournament or the Germans who will come down for another 4 weeks for the sea or sports activities are regular tourists not at all touched by the countryside. The numbers that needed to be moved were in July and August, the Septembers are regulars by choice, out of the targets of an advertising campaign.

We will see at the end of the season how attendance and overnight stays in general will have fared, as Minister Santanchè rightly says, but we do not see any elements left with which to judge her first advertising campaign. Neither positively nor negatively. There has been yes. But there might not have been, let’s say better: it did not make a difference. But there is a way to make up for it with the winter season: Holy Christmas is approaching.