Some of the funniest tourism campaigns from past and present
Recently we stumbled upon a commercial for Berlin City tourism. The video promoting the German capital has a young Indian fellow at the heart of it.
Recently we stumbled upon a commercial for Berlin City tourism. The video promoting the German capital has a young Indian fellow at the heart of it. Fresh off the dock, strictly in a manner of speaking, with the expression of a boy on Christmas morning the traveller trapezes around Berlin armed with a compact camera and enough enthusiasm to launch a thousand clicks.
Through his lens, this trigger happy tourist happens to spot a young maiden perched on a Berlin bridge. Too distracted by this picture of Teutonic perfection the man crashes into a cycletaxi and drops his passport. But as preoccupied as he is he fails to notice the loss. And he loses both, passport and lady. After a long journey across the metropolis, with helpful Berliners to guide him, he finds the Indian embassy. Alas, the embassy is closed. By now our young traveller has the expression of a boy on Christmas morning with no presents. But just when all hope is lost the young maiden reappears with the passport once thought lost forever and rescues the one in peril. And they lived happily ever after….or at least till his visa ran out. Berlin 'The Place To Be' is the line this commercial ends with.
Now we aren't quite sure who Berlin's tourism board wants to invite to their fair city. Perhaps young 20-something Indians with their marriage bios all raging to go or is finding love under the Brandenburg Gate simply one of the unexpected perks when you visit Berlin, be it for business or leisure?
While some tourism campaigns are funny not by design but rather a delightful coincidence, where lack in judgement meets lack of originality, there are a handful of others that are meant to be amusing. Here are some of the funniest, intentional or not, tourism campaigns from past and present.
Your Moment Is Waiting Kerala hardly needs any introduction for the international traveller. It is in fact one the best branded states in the country and has been exceedingly successful at it for a while. But this campaign by Kerala Tourism had the potential to scare away prospective travellers not familiar with God's Own Country. Or maybe draw in the micro segment whose lifelong ambition is to have their lives directed by Mulholland Driveera David Lynch. Sure it's unlike any travel campaign we've ever seen, but that's not necessarily a good thing.
Scattered among breathtaking images is some very disturbing footage. A woman meets her doppelganger on several occasions, seems afflicted by an unshakeable lassitude (except for the brief moment when she's channelling her inner Exorcist) and encounters a man with a painted face and silver eyes who furiously whispers in her ear. More art, less campaign.
Why Don't You Come Over
Not only does Romania have the most beautiful road according to a top rated British auto show and better English than anywhere in France but half of its women look like the Duchess of Cambridge and the other half like her sister Pippa Middleton. And as if that wasn't enough to attract the British, who are particular disturbed by the influx of Romanian immigrants to their own rich land, the Romania tourism campaign was kind enough to point out that Romanian beer is cheaper than English bottled water and there are no naked Harrys to worry about.
Furthermore, Prince Charles himself is a fan. Not only does the British monarch's eldest son own property in Transylvania (no where near Dracula's crib, of course) but he can trace his line back to Vlad The Impaler, the 15th century nobleman who was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. Romania's cheeky advertising definitely has bite and two very sharp cuspids.
The barbie may be all fired up down under. But clearly not everybody thinks that's reason enough for careless language in a global campaign. So the UK banned it and Singapore scratched out "bloody hell".
Dear Tourism Australia, don't you worry though. We'll get there in time, before the beer goes warm, before your fetching lifeguards leave their posts, before the sun goes down on Bondi and before the shrimp goes cold.
This is the story of a freak picture that led to travel campaign. A couple on vacation in Banff set up their camera to take a picture. Just before the automatic click goes off a local squirrel appears in front it to make this picture priceless and gives Banff country its very own tourismmascot. Soon all their tourism material featured the squirrel who is very fond of crashing unsuspecting tourists' photo moments. Beware the photobomber squirrel.
Size Doesn't Matter
It's an awkward moment when two people lie in bed in different states of undress and the woman tells the man "It's small. I don't think I can go there." But 'Israel Small Country, Big Paradise', reads the tag line to this campaign. Shalom
The good honest truth is that we would travel a thousand leagues in any direction to see ponies in cardigans, which is most certainly better than a legendary cryptid that lives in a loch in the Scottish Highlands, right? Better than the castles, the scenery and the Scotch?
The Scottish capital's marketing campaign wordplay didn't go down too well with locals. Someone clearly ran out of creative juice. Or perhaps they just had a wee drink too many?
Colombia, The Only Risk Is Wanting To StayForget the wars, drug cartels and kidnappings (the numbers have decreased in recent years, if you must know.) If there's one thing you have got to admire about the Colombians is their self-deprecating humour.
But perhaps the tourism ministry should flash pictures of Shakira and Sofia Vegara in their next campaign to attract more tourists. That ought to suffice for anybody who wishes to visit at the risk of never wanting to leave…voluntarily, of course.
Jump Into Ireland
Ah, Ireland…the rolling hills, the fair cities, the bridges, the waters (if you know what we mean) and the friendly folk with charming Irish accents and rosy cheeks singing tavern songs and knocking back pints at the local pub. Just the Irish pitcher we had in mind. Their hospitality knows no bounds. Don't believe us? Well, read on then.
The following line appears in an official video for Ireland tourism: "Let the place take hold of you. Meet some of the locals; eat some of the locals, if you want. Don't be shy." They're talking about lobsters fresh of the boat, silly. We'll take ours with a knob of butter, lassie. Now that's a juicy offer, quite impossible to decline.
Nine Months, without Hugh Grant. Here's how this story goes. Once upon a time in a land called Copenhagen, a Danish woman had a one-night stand with a mysterious stranger from an unnamed foreign land. Several months later the woman gives birth to a baby boy. But the baby has no daddy. In order to find August's daddy the woman posts a video online with details of that night on the waterfront and the moment they conceived baby August in her apartment. The man left the next morning while she was asleep, vanished without a trace, not even a name. And so the hunt for her baby's daddy begins. The End…pending.
What can we say they are a very friendly people. It is perhaps not a tale to tell at bedtime. But it was so good the tourism agency had to pull it off air because too many people wrote in….not one claimed to be the father though.