Vibe Israel, a non-governmental initiative to brand Israel to the world recently presented the findings of a report into Millennials and their perceptions of Israel to the country’s 10th President, Reuven Rivlin.
Approximately 4,000 people, between the ages of 14-52, were surveyed. Participants included residents of 12 countries, collectively, in North America, Western Europe, South America and Australia.
The main finding revealed that as generations decrease in age, so does their interest in Israel as a subject. It is supported by the results of the Best Countries ranking which is published every year in U.S. News, which ranks 80 countries around the world based on the perceptions of 22,000 people globally.
Israel was ranked 30th in 2018, but when only considering Millennials’ responses (ages 22-38), it dropped to 49th place.
No other country has such a large intergenerational disparity, highlighting that Israel’s traditional messaging is flagging somewhat with the young.
The large majority of respondents – 84% – had neither heard of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) and was unimpressed with its efforts to tarnish Israel’s international standing.
One of the other takeaways from the report, perhaps surprisingly so, was that although many people’s first associations with Israel were war and violence, the Arab-Israeli conflict did not appear in the first five associations with Israel.
The last major revelation was that Israel, despite its technological achievements and rich multicultural mix, is perceived as being a largely religious country.
The findings are important and could actually point to a change in emphasis in Israel’s attempts to brand itself. The youngest generation polled in this report is unaware and seemingly uninterested in Israel as a topic.
“The secret of Israel’s charm is not just in it being a Start Up Nation, but first and foremost in it being a People’s Nation, a fascinating human mosaic that connects between innovation and traditions, East and West,” said Rivlin.
“To bring about real change in the way Israel is perceived and what it needs, requires an over-arching strategy that includes tools, concepts and methodologies from the field of country branding,” said Joanna Landau, Founder & CEO, Vibe Israel.