2022 Top Tourism Campaigns Bring Typing Ponies & Talking Kangaroos

This year saw us returning to travel in big ways, and the campaign ideas rose to match! We found some of the most creative, quirky, content-driven ideas out there and summed them up for this year. From Ryanair on TikTok to horses that will answer your emails. In no particular order, here are our picks for 2022 Top Tourism Campaigns and why we just can’t get enough of them.

Denver, CO: Basecamp Denver

In 2022, Denver, CO, launched a new YouTube series and campaign landing page for their brand Basecamp Denver. Told in 3-5-minute episodes, this tourism-campaign-meets-reality-TV-show encourages visitors to use Denver as their “basecamp for all Rocky Mountain adventures.” Each video features a Denver native teaching a visiting family or group how to do things like fly fish, rock climb, mountain bike, snowmobile, curl, snowshoe and more. Best yet, the lessons take place in some of the area’s most scenic locations.

Why We Love It:

The series makes Denver’s most active assets approachable to newcomers while also showcasing the area in a fun and interesting way. It takes a grounded approach to destination marketing and features the people of Denver prominently. Watch for some hidden gems as well – the groups end each video with a lowkey activity, showcasing area breweries, distilleries, art installations and spas.

Ryanair: TikTok Strategy

Airlines took a hit this year, but every year are the source of thousands of travel-related complaints. Canceled, delayed or changed flights, cramped seating, baggage fees and lost luggage are all part of the day-to-day of operating in the airline industry. Ryanair decided to embrace that through their TikTok channel in 2022. Poking fun at the most common of challenges with witty content and hopping on the latest trends, Ryanair stood above – or at least apart from – competitors.

Why We Love It:

Not only is their strategy perfect for the platform, but it connects with consumers on a very real level. Ryanair doesn’t shy away from the reality of air travel and doesn’t pretend to solve the world’s problems. It also connects with their brand promise of providing a cost-effective way to fly without the bells and whistles.

Visit Iceland: Out-Horse Your Email

According to data from Qualtrics on vacation and work trends, 49% of employed Americans say they work at least one hour a day while on vacation. Another 24% work at least three hours a day. According to Visit Iceland, they have the solution for all your work-from-vacation problems: Personal Assistant Ponies.

In a campaign website, the destination introduces three Icelandic Ponies, each with their own personality. The assistant ponies are trained to “answer your emails” while you explore Iceland. (They are quick to respond, but no promises that their responses will be intelligible.) The site gives you all the great destination information as well: where to go, what to see/do, and where to stay while the horses handle your workload.

Why We Love It:

The site addresses a major concern in the tourism industry, calling out the slog of working from vacation, losing time to emails and unused vacation time. It also brings awareness to its rare breeds and scenic destination. It also uses a lead-capture form encouraging sign ups to “out-horse your email,” building its customer list for marketing efforts.

Tourism Australia: Come and Say G’Day

Playing off of their iconic welcome phrase of “G’Day,” Tourism Australia’s newest campaign introduces star talent and a set of new characters who playfully introduce visitors to the destination. In a 9-minute movie that gives off lots of “Toy Story” vibes, meet Ruby the Kangaroo plush and her new pal Louie the Unicorn as they traverse Australia – seeing the sights and getting into some seriously funny situations.

Australia has always gone big with their marketing campaigns – see the Super Bowl Ad they produced in 2018 with stars Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride – but Ruby feels more like a mascot for the ages. The campaign launched in 2022 and will continue running over the next two years. It will be interesting to see how she takes off across their website, social channels and additional video content.

Why We Love It:

Australia tells an engaging story going beyond their destination content. Yet they seamlessly work in major assets and attractions that visitors will want to explore when they come. They also give their partners the tools needed to interact with the campaign and give it legs beyond the single brand. Check out Australia’s Industry Toolkit.

Colombia: Book of Warmth

Whoever said print is dead hasn’t seen Colombia’s newest campaign. Marching in the opposite direction from the flashy video campaigns of its competitors, Colombia polled the heart of the destination, its people. They used the stories gathered and released a 212-page “Book of Warmth” in downloadable ebook format. The book is a visual work of art and goes all-in on storytelling – featuring tales of its residents from home cooking to beekeeping, bike tours to music-making, and more.

Why We Love It:

It can be challenging for a destination to stand out in a crowded space of amazing food, craft beverages, sightseeing, arts & culture and more. What makes a place truly unique are the people, their struggles, successes and stories. Colombia leans into its locals and poured an incredible amount of time into documenting their tales. Not only can these be repurposed into online, social and PR content, but it also shows how much the destination team values the residents of its country and wants to share their stories with the world. 

Can’t get enough of the creativity? Check out our Top Tourism Campaign round ups from past years and the elements of a Top Campaign:

Top Tourism Campaigns of 2021

Top Travel Campaigns of 2020: Tourism Marketers Get Creative in the Face of Adversity

The 5 Top Tourism Campaigns of 2019

2018’s Best Tourism Campaigns: Our Five Favorites

Elements of Top Tourism Campaigns

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Sarah Martin

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