Can we agree the whole branding thing has got out of hand? I wish that branding had never left the cattle corral. These days, instead of selling an actual product you sell the idea of the product. So you spend all your time working not on the product but on the idea of it.

Today even whole countries get brands. Consider these national tourism logos. Start with Colombia. Is it trying to establish itself as the world radish center?

Okay, it says “Colombia is passion!” so I guess that’s a heart. A heart attack? A heart on fire? Open heart surgery? Well it’s scarlet, so it’s passionate.

In any case, the logo seems to have worked, because it appears the design firm tweaked it and resold it to Dubai.

dubai logo

If Colombia says passion, and Dubai says . . . something about hearts, what does Chile say? Excitement? Fireworks? A mugging?

chile logo

Hey, Colombia, watch out! This branding business is cutthroat! I think Turkey wants to cut into the radish trade.

turkey logo

And Hungary also has designs on the heart market.

hungary logo

Well, that’s enough of this. it could go on forever — just ask the Dominican Republic.

dominican republic logo

I don’t know what that thing is. Do you?


Some of the national brands are better than others. But one thing they all have in common — they didn’t come cheap. That’s because brands are the new snake oil — the suckers lap it up, and the branders rake it in.

Which of the national tourism logos do you think work best? What do you think of them as a whole? You can see the full set here.