MADE YOU LOOK

The Weirdest Travel Marketing Campaigns of 2022

After two years of the pandemic and with recovery on the horizon, destinations around the world have been wooing tourists back. Vying for international travellers' attention, some destination marketing campaigns in 2022 were downright wild, possibly working on the PR premise that more attention, of whatever kind, is always good. And that humour sells!

Did these campaigns make you look?

Sweden

In time for Halloween, Visit Sweden released a two-minute horror film to promote the country. Narrated by "Sweden" herself, the video starts with a man visiting a forest before running into a woman, who is actually a huldra, a forest nymph. Sweden tells listeners that they will return after a visit, but some horror-like scenes might have the opposite effect on viewers.

Vilnius, Lithuania

The capital of Lithuania is getting people to celebrate its 700th anniversary in 2023, even if they don't know where Vilnius is. "After most of the world forgot Vilnius' last 699 birthdays, we came up with a solution for its 700th," the retro-styled video says. The solution is a "belated birthday e-card collection," and the video takes viewers through various cards before asking them to send their own.

Previous campaigns have called the city "the g-spot of Europe" and rewritten a Christmas carol.

Iceland

Iceland is promising to "out-horse your email" in a campaign released in MAY which claims that Icelandic ponies have been trained to write out of office messages so visitors don't have to touch their phones while on vacation to the destination.

"Nothing ruins your vacation like work," starts the video, before showing seven horses running over a giant keyboard and typing emails. The campaign's web site shows a behind-the-scenes look at how the video was filmed and viewers can pick one of three horses to write their own out-of-office email.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna is encouraging tourists to let themselves go during their visit with a six-minute short film showing a walking belly (yes, that's right), who has left his fitness-focused human, Harry, because he no longer feels welcome.

The belly then tours Vienna, wandering the streets, visiting iconic destinations and enjoying lots of food. Eventually, Harry finds Belly and they enjoy a Viennese restaurant. "The most beautiful way to love yourself is to indulge," the video ends. 

Australia

Australia released a nine-minute short film, titled "G'day," starring Australian actress Rose Byrne as Ruby, a toy kangaroo and Canadian actor Will Arnett as Louie, a toy unicorn. The two escape from a Great Barrier Reef gift shop and travel to destinations like Nitmiluk Gorge, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef and the Sydney Opera House.

"Down Under, 'g'day' is the start of every good adventure," says Byrne at the end, in person. "It's our way of saying, 'If you're not a friend yet, you will be mate.'" The video gained 19 million YouTube views in its first month alone.

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