Backfiring boomerang brands in Jakarta: The case of the Great Garuda

Vidar Stevens*, E. Minkman, Roanne van Voorst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter presents a case of how branding was used as a strategy to bind actors and motivate them to work together on an adaptation strategy and how, subsequently, the branding campaign “backfired.” A team of Dutch water experts developed a flood management strategy for Indonesia’s capital city Jakarta. The Dutch experts decided to combine an offshore dam with land reclamations in the shape of Indonesia’s national symbol and branded this project as “the Great Garuda” that would protect the city from flooding and create a world-class waterfront city. At a certain point, however, the brand became contested, and opposition rose to destabilize this strategy. A counter-brand emerged of the Great Garuda, framing the project as “megalomaniac” and as a transformation of Jakarta Bay in a “septic tank” at the cost of the urban poor. By the time the Dutch actors decided to abandon the idea of the Great Garuda, the brand identity had been hijacked by actors opposing the master plan. In this chapter, we show up to what point branding is a useful instrument to enhance the commitment of stakeholders for a climate adaptation initiative and what, simultaneously, the risks of branding as a strategy are.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPublic Branding and Marketing
Subtitle of host publicationA Global Viewpoint
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic) 978-3-030-70505-3
ISBN (Print)9783030705046
Publication statusPublished - 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Backfiring boomerang brands in Jakarta: The case of the Great Garuda'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this