Global Adventures in Adland – Iceland…

The Core Agency founder Christian Finucane takes time out to reflect on the horseplay of a quirky tourism campaign from Visit Iceland and how Australia might deploy a similar marketing strategy.

Each month, we go travelling around the world in search of some of the most surprising, stimulating and thought-provoking tourism advertising ideas. We’ll discover a diversity of campaigns using quirky cultures and off-beat humour – all of them having one thing in common – highly effective cut-through and results.

Cracking a tourism campaign is horseplay in Iceland.

One of the best things about travel is the way it can change your perspective and refresh how you see the world. And when you put that in the context of creating a tourism campaign, you’d be crazy not to tap into the nuances of the culture you’re tempting people to visit. So how better to get a sense of Iceland than with the brilliant ‘OutHorse your email’ campaign that is completely bonkers – yet hugely successful.

Watch the full campaign ad HERE.

If you haven’t seen the idea, we see the usual slick edit of stunning landscapes until the commercial jags by promising a way to stop work interrupting your holiday.

The simple and irreverent idea is to let Icelandic horses respond to your work emails by walking across enormous keyboards, set within stunning vistas. With work taken care of, you can kick back, relax and enjoy everything that Iceland has to offer!

The strategy of targeting overworked people (who isn’t these days) and helping them take genuine uninterrupted time out is really smart and helps set up a powerful creative tension – don’t let work ruin your vacay.

It’s this kind of unexpected (yet totally relevant) thinking that gives the campaign real cut-through. It elevates Iceland’s commercials to the top of the must-see list and secured millions of Króna in free media along the way. A valuable bonus in our always-on world of digital platforms. Huge credit must go to the Visit Iceland marketing team for taking the path less trodden.

So, as I listen to Bjork and tuck into some pickled herring, I’m thinking how can we be inspired by this great work here in Australia?

Perhaps a domestic tourism campaign where we challenge Victorians to ‘Like’ New South Wales on social media? Or a Tourism Australia campaign where we entice people from a selected country by promising to change our clocks to match their home time zone – with all the fun that could entail.

Whatever we do, let’s make sure it is as unique and engaging as the destination itself!

Christian Finucane (pictured) is a Founder & Creative Partner of The Core Agency in Sydney. The team has created effective advertising, digital and social campaigns for Destination NSW, Cook Islands, Sydney Airport and Quest Apartment Hotels.


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