The Advertising Apprentice

September 22, 2009

Meet Your Illegitimate Son

Filed under: Advertising — adamlauzon @ 10:30 PM
Tags: , , ,

There are many great reasons people should travel to Denmark, including:

In addition to these great attractions there may be one more reason for you to book your flight to Denmark; as described in a now banned Danish tourism viral video, starring Ditte Arnth, commissioned by the Visit Denmark tourist board. You can see it HERE.

(By the way you can get a return flight to Copenhagen for as low as $1200 through Air Canada.)

This is definitely one of those ads that falls under the “seemed like a good idea at the time!” category. The irony is that any woman in this situation is probably thinking the exact same thing the morning after, but I digress.

I can respect the risk they were trying to take by not creating a traditional tourism commercial like this one:

However, a two minute and twenty-eight second video of a woman seeking the father of her child is way too far on the other end of the thinking-outside-of-the-box spectrum and further this subject matter is inappropriate to be used in a tourism video. That is unless the message that they were trying to convey is “Come to Denmark, you can meet an attractive woman at a bar, go back to her place, and have unprotected sex with a complete stranger.” Based on the outcry and criticism of this video in the past week, it’s clear that not many Danish women are happy with being portrayed in this way. And if this was the desired message, then you’re luring the “wrong” type of visitor. This seems more appropriate for an episode of Jerry Springer rather than video promoting tourism to Denmark.

Next, I’ll play devil’s-advocate and focus on some of the video’s positives:

  • It has definitely succeeded in creating buzz around the world for Denmark, with the spot generating discussion from media outlets such as:
  • There is a call-to-action; “please contact me; I will put my email with this video, so just write me.” (Though I would’ve preferred to see at the very least Visit Denmark’s URL at the bottom of the screen.)
  • The visuals: a simple background, an attractive woman and a cute baby.
  • The video is definitely effective in attracting attention and in keeping viewers’ interest piqued.
  • You really have to give Ms. Arnth some credit for doing what seems like a straight shoot while holding on to a live baby. It reminds me of the following Johnny Walker The Man Who Walked Around the World ad:

The ad stars Scottish actor Robert Carlyle and reportedly took 40 takes before the director was happy with Carlyle’s timing. Can you image being at the five-minute mark and messing up a word and having to reshoot from the beginning? I’d be surprised if Carlyle didn’t help himself to a shot or two of the whisky just to calm his nerves!

For other lesser-traveled countries, such as Norway, that may be considering a similar style video to attract visitors I suggest going for it… just use a hook that doesn’t portray your citizens as being blatantly promiscuous! Perhaps a video post-card from a person to their family and/or friends describing all the great things they’ve done while in said country. Something like that probably won’t generate nearly as much buzz but at least it won’t offend anyone.


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