It’s all about the ‘Brand’ in Soller
Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
Tuesday 30th September 2014
Photograph of Soller’s cobbled streets by Rachel Fox
The marketing people are ever with us in fact I am one myself so I have a little understanding. To create ‘Team GB’ before the Olympics took years and expensive PR people worked on the concept and image. The creation now of ‘Team Soller is beginning and it is fascinating to watch the way the dice will roll. Soller is being talked of as ‘The Island within an Island ’ – the fact that you have to get through a paid tunnel to reach us creates a slight air of uniqueness and mystery. ‘Soller thinks it’s a bit special and wants to keep it that way’ is how it is often explained. Soller is known in the UNESCO world as the ‘Commercial and Cultural Centre of the Tramuntana Sierra’.
A lot to live up to in all those statements and the reality is beginning to dawn on the powers that be. If Soller is such a centre and so special then the world needs to know about it now. A platform for bringing increased visitors here should be created and this is a mammoth task. Meetings and conversations happen about the sharing of information and keeping the excitement about the place alive ready to capitalise on next year. This is just so difficult for the majority to understand. They work hard and when winter comes they want to switch off for a few months before starting again. Of course the marketing world doesn’t work like that and the winter for PR people is their busiest time to ensure that next years season improves on the last.
The cameras and film crews are in Soller and the Port at present. Three separate companies with all their equipment, staff and actors have been strutting their stuff down our cobbled streets. The location scouts for the film world are often to be found in the Hidden Valley . They clutch their scripts and lists of location requirements and try to match them with what is available here. In the Jumeirah in the Port of Soller last week it was their infinity pool that the TV Company wanted. This was filming for a UK advertising campaign soon to be seen on our televisions. This was followed by a take over of the Repic Beach last Saturday. One of the local bars became the bar of choice for hordes of Spanish teenagers being filmed for a prestigious Spanish company. The new Zombie film – Generation X starts its filming this week. The locations are Cuber, Cala Tuent and other mountain sites around Soller. The power of good over evil and the three manifestations of being a zombie are all being explored in this hugely popular movie genre. There is huge ‘young’ interest in this film shoot and this production company will have their camp followers – that’s for sure.
Some of the English speaking Sollerics had their ‘Joni Mitchell moment this week. They were even accused of being hippies when the jokes and cerebral interest was flowing. The story starts months ago when the area that used to house the Fantasia Cinema of Soller was earmarked to be another communal parking zone. This is in a densely populated area where parking spaces are at a premium so this was a welcomed municipal decision. Then life took over and there was no money to complete the task so a derelict space sat there unused and declining. Last week money was miraculously found and work started and was completed within five days. The tarmac machines and diggers did a great job and now we are just waiting for the blue lines to be drawn and the parking meter payment points to be installed. Our Rachel took photos of the work and left one on Facebook with the caption ‘Paved Paradise’. The response soon came ‘Put up a parking lot’ and then it all kicked off. Utube versions appeared in the Soller facebook world of Joni singing ‘The Big Yellow Taxi’
And then we were all singing along with the words that were so appropriate to this site. Of course this could also be that we are a bunch of eccentrics up here in the mountains – none of us would complain at that description.
The rain came this weekend and Soller jumped into the next season with great pleasure. There was even smoke wafting from chimney pots as the first fires of the autumn were lit. Roast dinners and a Sunday TV afternoon were talked of in hushed tones. We have had a splendid summer and we look forward to a wonderful, healthy outdoor autumn but for a day it was nice to snuggle in the house. We will soon be bored of rain and staying in but this week is going to give us the opportunity to catch up with all those jobs in the house that we have put off because it’s been too darned hot.
You are welcome to catch up with all that is going on here in this special place in our daily updates on www.sollerweb.com.