The tourism industry has been confronted with evolving market conditions and shifting consumer preferences in recent years (Mariani et al., 2019). The rise in the demand for personalized and immersive experiences has compelled destination marketers to creatively promote the distinctive features of their locations. This article aims to shed light on inventive destination marketing strategies, drawing on recent examples from 2022, with a focus on local culture, history, natural wonders, and attractions.
The Essence of Destination Marketing
Destination marketing is a multifaceted concept that transcends the realms of mere promotion or advertising, encompassing the comprehensive set of strategies employed to manage and market a location or tourist destination (Hays, Page, & Buhalis, 2022). It is the art of leveraging the unique selling propositions (USPs) of a location to foster a compelling narrative that entices potential visitors.
Case Study 1: “What does a Belly do in Vienna?” – A Unique Approach to Destination Marketing
The Vienna Tourist Board launched a distinctive and whimsical campaign in 2022 titled “What does a Belly do in Vienna?” This campaign featured a nearly six-minute short film, showcasing a walking belly’s adventure in Vienna.
The campaign’s concept revolves around a rotund stomach that leaves its workout-obsessed human, Harry, feeling unwelcome. The belly embarks on a journey to Vienna, where it explores the streets, appreciates sublime artworks, and indulges in the famous Sacher torte. Eventually, Harry reunites with his belly, and they enjoy a delightful date in a Viennese restaurant.
The underlying message of the campaign is the celebration of self-indulgence and self-love. The tagline, “The most beautiful way to love yourself is to indulge,” encapsulates the essence of the campaign. It encourages travelers to let loose and enjoy the pleasures that Vienna has to offer.
This campaign stood out for its creativity and cinematic quality. While it may have polarized opinions, its unique storytelling approach provided a fresh perspective on destination marketing. By personifying a belly and allowing it to explore the city, the campaign highlighted Vienna’s cultural richness and culinary delights in an engaging and memorable way.
“What does a Belly do in Vienna?” serves as an inspiring example of how destination marketing can transcend traditional boundaries. By embracing a bold and imaginative concept, Vienna’s campaign successfully spotlighted the intrinsic value of the city, inviting travelers to experience its charm and indulge in its pleasures. This case study illustrates the potential of creative storytelling in destination marketing, offering valuable insights for other locations looking to craft compelling and resonant campaigns.
Case Study 2: “G’day” – A Cinematic Journey with Tourism Australia
Tourism Australia launched a captivating campaign in 2022 titled “G’day,” featuring a nine-minute animated short film. This campaign was part of the broader “Come and say g’day” initiative, aimed at inviting travelers to explore the wonders of Australia.
The film stars Rose Byrne as Ruby, a toy kangaroo, and Will Arnett as Louie, a toy unicorn. The pair break out of a Great Barrier Reef gift shop and embark on an adventurous journey across Australia, visiting iconic locations such as Nitmiluk Gorge, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Sydney Opera House.
The underlying message of the campaign is the warmth and friendliness encapsulated in the Australian greeting “G’day.” The film emphasizes that “G’day” is the start of every good adventure in Australia, symbolizing an invitation to friendship and exploration.
The “G’day” campaign was a massive success, racking up 19 million YouTube views in its first month alone. The blend of animation, storytelling, and the portrayal of Australia’s diverse landscapes resonated with audiences worldwide. The campaign’s tagline, “If you’re not a friend yet, you will be mate,” further reinforced the welcoming spirit of Australia.
The “G’day” campaign by Tourism Australia serves as a remarkable example of how destination marketing can leverage storytelling and creativity to create a compelling narrative. By using animated characters to guide viewers through Australia’s breathtaking scenery, the campaign successfully spotlighted the intrinsic value of the destination. This case study underscores the power of innovative storytelling in destination marketing, highlighting the potential to connect with audiences on an emotional level and inspire them to explore new horizons.
The growing demand for authentic and diverse experiences amongst today’s tourists necessitates innovative destination marketing strategies. The crux of this marketing approach lies in understanding the intrinsic value of the destination, extracting its unique aspects, and presenting them in a compelling narrative. Destination marketers can learn from successful contemporary campaigns, such as Vienna and Australia, and creatively engage potential tourists with alluring yet authentic portrayals of their location.
- Hays, S., Page, S.J., & Buhalis, D. (2022). Social media as a destination marketing tool: Its use by national tourism organisations. Current Issues in Tourism, 25(1), 42-56.
- Lepitak, S. (Date not specified). “What Does a Belly on Legs Do When It Goes on Holiday to Vienna?”. Adweek. Retrieved from https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/what-does-a-belly-on-legs-do-when-it-goes-on-holiday-to-vienna/
- Mariani, M., Baggio, R., Fuchs, M., & Höepken, W. (2019). Business intelligence and big data in hospitality and tourism: A systematic literature review. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 31(12), 2864-2902.
- Rossi A. (2022) Comunicazione Digitale per il Turismo, Amazon KPD self-published, 2022
- Tourism Australia (2022a). Come and Say G’day. Retrieved from https://www.tourism.australia.com/en/resources/campaign-resources/come-and-say-gday.html
- Tourism Australia. (2022b). G’day, the short film. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3PdfWVk7h8
- Vienna. (2022). What does a Belly do in Vienna? I Shortfilm [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYjcIS-urbk
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