Although I’ve never been there, I’ve always held a special place in my heart for Iceland. They devote so much time and government spending to the arts, they produce amazing musicians (Sigur Ros and Bjork anyone?) and it’s just a damn beautiful looking place with beautiful looking people.What's not love?! I’m also married to a travel agent and as a result have seen my fair share of tourism campaigns…some great, some terrible. That’s why it was so great to come across the Inspired By Iceland tourism campaign.
Lately Iceland has been hit pretty hard. The global recession lead to some of their major banks collapsing and as if the threat of national bankruptcy wasn’t enough, in the last few months a major volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, erupted causing wide spread flight cancellations and massive damage to the country's rural areas. So much emphasis was placed on the impact the volcano had on European air travel that people seemed to forget that it severely impacted Icelanders way of life.
Anyways, it’s great to see something as positive as the Inspired by Iceland campaign come out of all this hardship. It really shows how beautiful and optimistic the country is. The campaign successfully integrates beautifully shot videos, web marketing and interactive features like user generated stories and galleries. The Inspired by Iceland video is fantastic, showing off the amazing landscapes and the fun loving spirit of its people (beware…tiny bit of nudity…not unlike a Sigur Ros album cover. (*blush)
The Website is fantastic looking (Although I do have to say the background images weren’t big enough for my 27” monitor…but that happens sometimes) and has a ton of great content and links. I love that they included a “Book a Flight” link in the top corner, capitalizing on people being absolutely awestruck by the imagery. The user generated content is a great place for people to add photos and stories about why they loved their trip to Iceland and the live video feeds of various locations around the country are a nice touch.
I love that Inspired By Iceland understood that tourism is more than generating sales for local businesses. It’s about creating a memorable and emotional connection with the visitor, one that they will never forget. All in all a really great campaign that raises the bar for other countries looking to market their destination.