Bucharest not Budapest

ROM Autentic, the traditional chocolate bar with Bucharest written on it, together with McCann Bucharest and MRM Romania, has launched “Bucharest not Budapest”, a campaign aimed at ending once and for all the confusion between the two capital cities – Bucharest and Budapest. For decades, Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, was mistaken with Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. Athough it generated indignation and negative comments, nobody has reacted, until now.

Bucharest not Budapest wallpaper

It all started in 1990, when Michael Jackson started the trend by saying “Hello, Budapest!” at his concert in Romania. Then, in 1995, Iron Maiden made the same mistake. Morcheeba, Lenny Kravitz, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake and others didn’t consult Wikipedia before coming to Bucharest and continued the trend by saying “Heeeeloooo, Budaaaapeeest!” in front of thousands of Bucharest inhabitants. The infamous confusion reached its peak and started making collateral victims last year, when no less than 400 Athletic Bilbao fans missed the Europe League final after mistakenly flying to Budapest instead of Bucharest. Watch this short video manifesto and see for yourselves the scale of the confusion:

On the eve of Iron Maiden’s return to Romania, ROM Autentic challenges Romanians to end the confusion. All Romanians are invited to help the world understand that the capital city of Romania is BUCHAREST, NOT BUDAPEST. Supporters of the cause are invited to enter www.BucharestNotBudapest.com and dwnload the browser add-on which adds “Not Budapest” next to each “Bucharest” and send it to all the non-Romanian friends together with the video tutorials. Participants can choose a supporter widget or a cover photo. If they have heard of similar stories, they can add them to the gallery of mistakes on the website, share them on Facebook and tag them with #BucharestNotBudapest.


In addition to the campaign website, video manifesto and tutorials, the campaign also includes giant billboards with the campaign message “Bucharest, not Budapest”, displayed in the vicinity of the Henri Coanda International Airport, Bucharest and Ferenc Liszt International Airport, Budapest. Howard Johnson Grand Plaza Hotel Bucharest partnered with the campaign by offering all of its guests welcome packs meant to help them end the confusion.

Bucharest Not Budapest billboards

Bucharest Not Budapest bus

Bucharest Not Budapest bus

Bucharest Not Budapest bus

Bucharest Not Budapest t-shirts

Bucharest Not Budapest t-shirts

ROM Autentic’s American Rom Takeover campaign won nine lions at Cannes International Festival of Creavity in 2011, including two Grand Prix and one Titanium Lion. The Romanians are Smart campaign, winner of 3 Cannes Lions in 2012, made Romania the first country in the world to change its image on the internet.


The Bucharest Not Budapest campaign was developed at McCann Erickson Romania, MRM Worldwide Romania and UM Romania, by creative partner Adrian Botan, executive creative directors Catalin Dobre, Nir Refuah, Alexandru Dumitrescu, art directors Arpad Rezi, Vlad Macarie, copywriters Sebastian Olar, Danna Blum, Cristina Tatar, creative planner Adrian Constantin, PR manager Carmen Bistrian, media planner Alina Carasol, agency producers Alexandru Platon and Tiberiu Munteanu, account handlers Anamaria Ionita, Ionela Buta, Laura Boboc, Alina Marin, Andra Constantin, working with Kandia Dulce SA marketing director Gabriela Munteanu, senior brand manager Elena Petrea and brand manager Gianina Popescu.

Production was by Bogdan Orcula at Studio Set.