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FIT launches promotional film to put Flanders, Belgium’s northern region, on the foreign investment radar

Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) – the agency responsible for attracting and guiding foreign investors to Flanders, Belgium’s northern region – has launched a new promotional film called ‘Invest in Flanders’.

As a region that specializes in R&D and innovation, Flanders attracts investments from around the globe. In 2017, foreign companies funneled EUR 2.08 billion into the region, spread across 215 projects and creating 5,377 jobs. These figures illustrate the attractiveness of Flanders as a reliable location to invest and a great place to live, work and do business.

To deliver that message to international audiences worldwide, Flanders’ new promotional video premiers today via social media. The film is supported by a digital marketing campaign linked to the hashtag #WeAreFlanders. Watch it here.

Unraveling the DNA of Flanders

Flanders’ new promotional film targets foreign professionals. In just three minutes, it visualizes several of the region’s strong suits, including its strategic location in the heart of Europe, modern infrastructure and well-developed industry. Unlike the average brand video, the promotional film also zooms in on Flanders’ identity.

The unique mindset of the people of Flanders serves as the main theme throughout a story about how the region has turned its traditional strengths into innovative assets for the future.

“Together with the many Flanders-based companies with export activities, foreign investors are a major driver of Flanders’ economy,” explains Claire Tillekaerts, CEO of FIT.

“The ‘Invest in Flanders’ film highlights the main benefits of investing in our region in such a way that international audiences can easily discover what Flanders stands for. In addition, the promotional film is a great way for people from Flanders to showcase – and share – their enthusiasm about the region’s strengths, something they often shy away from.”

5 facts about the ‘Invest in Flanders’ film

  • In just three minutes, the film tells the story of an agricultural researcher. Thanks to the efforts and dedication of her father, a traditional farmer, she managed to position herself as an innovative and future-minded professional. This is a metaphor for the importance of research and innovation in Flanders.
  • FIT relied on production agency Wenneker.be for the creation of the video. The promotional film was written and directed by Peter Neyt.
  • ILVO, Flanders’ institute for agriculture, fishery and food research, actively helped write the script’s overarching storyline.
  • British actor and producer Don McCorkindale lent his voice for the English voice-over of the film.
  • The film was shot in the fall of 2017 in different locations across Flanders. Drones were not only used for some shots, they also play a role in the film itself.

#WeAreFlanders: digital, innovation-themed marketing campaign

FIT is sharing the promotional video primarily via its websites and social media profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. The agency also utilizes its networks in Flanders and abroad to distribute the film.

This is done through Social Seeder, a tool for online ambassadorship, as well as during events, trade fairs and meetings that take place in the more than 70 countries where FIT has offices.

A digital marketing campaign linked to the hashtag #WeAreFlanders also supports the online distribution of promotional film. It includes a landing page and e-book, advertisements on social media and search engines, video testimonials, etc.

The marketing campaign mainly zooms in on the strengths of Flanders in terms of research and development (R&D). The fact that innovation is major asset of Flanders is highlighted in the region’s foreign direct investment results. Last year, foreign companies created a record number of jobs (5,377) in the region, with a particularly strong increase in the number of R&D positions.

Approved by an international test audience

FIT showed the ‘Invest in Flanders’ film for the first time during its annual Foreign Investment Trophy event on February 27th, 2018.

The foreign investors in the audience applauded the film for its novel approach, highlighting the fact that it’s not a traditional brand video, but rather a story with an emotional component and realistic characters. There were also people from Flanders in the audience, who stated that the film “gave them goosebumps”.

About FIT

Flanders Investment & Trade, the government agency for international entrepreneurship, promotes export among Flanders-based firms, and attracts and guides foreign companies to Flanders. In 2017, Flanders attracted 215 new foreign investment projects, representing a total of  EUR 2.08 billion. That’s an increase of 8.59% compared to the 198 projects in 2016.

FIT currently also coordinates co-creation projects to strengthen Flanders’ international reputation in 5 domains: life sciences & health, food, solution-driven engineering & technology, smart logistics, sustainable resources, and materials & chemistry. This exercise, supported by EFRO, is part of the internationalization strategy 'Flanders accelerates!', and will result in a branding toolkit by the summer of 2019. The sectors can use this toolkit to support their promotional actions.

Press

Tine Van Valckenborgh, spokesperson for Flanders Investment & Trade

E: tine.vanvalckenborgh@fitagency.be
M: +32 499 24 60 93
Twitter: @InvestFlanders​

Websites

8 May 2018