What was supposed to be a temporary transformation looks to be a permanent change. The South Spanish town Juzcar was turned entirely blue for the latest Smurfs movie by Sony Pictures. After 141 days blueness, the inhabitants of the small town have voted to keep the façades of the buildings blue forever. The reason is the enormous amount of extra tourists visiting the town and the extra money that is generated that way, according to the The Independent:
“Previously, about 300 tourists a year would pass through Juzcar. In the past six months, an estimated 80,000 followers of ‘Los Pitufos’, as the Smurfs are known in Spanish, have made the trek to the remote village high in Malaga’s sierras. The village has eagerly embraced its new role, holding events such as a Smurf moonlight fun run, Smurf painting competitions and permanently running Smurf trade fairs. There are even Smurf-themed weddings to keep fans of the squeaky little blue folk coming.”
After Sony’s Smurf Village proposal, the inhabitants started to feel like Smurfs themselves. Although Sony promised to paint the picturesque village white again after the campaign, the inhabitants found out that being a Smurf is not bad at all. It’s interesting to see how a simple marketing stunt changes the economical prospects of a small village. We’ve seen this kind of urban coloring stunts before, but this strikingly shows that marketing logic works for city-making as well. It’s time to add a new chapter to our marketing is urbanism trend.