An international brand resource for neighbourhoods, towns, cities, regions and economic clusters.

Summer's here -- let's go play!

Posted by Claire Matthews
Tourism ad campaigns get playful

It’s tourist season in the northern hemisphere, and all over the world tourism organizations are pulling out all the stops to attract visitors and their wallets. As always, many campaigns take a whimsical approach to the process, selling fun, adventure and emotion along with tourist attractions. Are these campaigns appealing enough to get you packing your bags?

  • Elkford, BC’s campaign, “Get intimate with nature,” gets its oomph from the photo featured on its website – a troubled man in bed with a moose, echoing the famous “horse head” scene from “The Godfather.” Fun and freaky at the same time.
  • Travel Wisconsin’s campaign this year is called “Picture the Fun,” and features hundreds of photos from around the state. It also includes a cameo from Wisconsin’s most famous son, Henry Winkler (a.k.a. the Fonz) and, in a really nice touch, uses music from Wisconsin bands (the songs can be uploaded from the travelwisconsin.com website). The campaign also includes a photo contest with extremely useful prizes – gas coupons redeemable in the state.
  • At Graceland they’re celebrating the 55th anniversary of Elvis’ first big year. In 1956 Elvis had his first hit single (“Heartbreak Hotel”), released both his first album, starred in his first movie and made his first television appearances. The “Elvis ‘56” package includes accommodations, tours and meals and is available only this year. And as a bonus, it features great vintage photos of Elvis in his early days.
  • On Twitter our old friend the Banff Squirrel is busy talking up the 125th anniversary of Parks Canada and the impeding visit from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (you know, Will and Kate). He’s also promoting a contest for Australians to win a trip to Banff. He’s very entertaining – don’t know how he tweets so much with those little paws …
  • And in Australia, the land that has spawned possibly some of the most fun and original tourist campaigns? They’re featuring Oprah. Yes, even if you didn’t get to go on the trip with her, you too can live “Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure.” The banner picture on the website even features the Sidney Harbour Bridge with a big illuminated “O” on it. We’ll see if she can do for place branding what she did for book clubs.

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Placebrand.ca© is a Taiji Brand Group project that explores the role and importance of place branding. We invite your comments and contributions at any time.