Well its almost 4th of July weekend and I know that I’m not the only one who is going to be traveling on this very festive weekend.  So, with that said, I thought it would be fun to write about Forbes magazine’s 10 best travel ad campaigns, the ones that really make you want to hit the road.

10. Virginia is For Lovers (1969 – ongoing): In 1969, as the story goes, a copywriter for Richmond, Va.-based advertising agency Martin & Woltz hit upon the idea for an advertising tagline designed to bring visitors to the state: “Virginia is for history lovers.” Thinking it too limiting, Martin and Woltz dropped the “history.”  Forty years later, the “Virginia is for lovers” state tourism campaign is still going strong–and still ranking as one of the top travel campaigns in history.

9. Oregon’s “150 Challenge” (2009): Oregon wants you to see all it has to offer, and to make sure you do, it’s issued a challenge: visit at least five different types of destinations in at least two different regions of Oregon and you just might win a Grand Oregonian Tour.

8. Canada “Locals Know” (2009): Like Oregon, Canada is banking on the appeal of the country’s undiscovered gems. In one spot from the new campaign by DDB Vancouver, which launched at the beginning of June, a group of kayakers gets a special visit on the water–from a few friendly whales. “Where is this?” asks the on-screen text. Locals know.

7. Alaska B4UDIE (2005): This campaign by the Alaska Travel Industry Association–a simple billboard–got a “top five” vote from Peter Greenberg. “It speaks to that inner clock of the bucket list,” he says. The billboards had a limited display, in Los Angeles, Seattle and Minneapolis, but the campaign reached more eyeballs with its own Web site.

6. Pure Michigan (2006 – ongoing): This campaign sells with its simple–and universal–message: that sometimes we all need to get away from life’s stresses and relax a bit.

5. Jamaica: Once You Go, You Know (2004 – ongoing): The “Once you go, you know” spots, which launched in 2004, capitalize on the whole family travel experience of Jamaica–complete with bright smiles, fun music and exotic scenery.

4. Australia – Paul Hogan’s Spots (1984 – 1990): Before he became Crocodile Dundee, Paul Hogan helped put Australia on the map with these iconic spots from the 1980s, and “Put another shrimp on the barbie” became the catchphrase Americans associated with the land down under.

3. New Zealand: 100% Pure (1999 – ongoing): These spots use stunning photography to showcase all that New Zealand has to offer and welcome visitors to “the youngest country on earth.” The campaign is still going strong in its 10th year.

2. Incredible India (2009): Celebrating 60 years as an independent state, India’s Ministry of Tourism uses the brilliant colors and music of the Incredible India campaign to highlight the country’s own vibrancy. The spots are dialogue-free, but the photography speaks for itself.

1. Las Vegas: What Happens Here Stays Here (2003 – ongoing): Sin City resurrected its “What Happens Here Stays Here” campaign, which launched in 2003, this year. The new spots, by agency R&R Partners, poke a little fun at the recession: in one, a reporter dressed in a somber gray suit bemoans the empty cabanas as another “sign of the times,” before plunging into a pool filled with partying vacationers as soon as the camera clicks off. The judges picked it for its clear brand message and staying power.

Wow, these ads really do make me want to immediately get on a plane and explore!

Read about what makes these ads so successful and gets people off their couch at: http://www.forbes.com/2009/06/29/las-vegas-australia-paul-hogan-leadership-cmo-network-marketing.html


Oregon's 150 Challenge

Canada "Locals Know"

Alaska B4UDIE

Pure Michigan

Jamaica "Once You Go, You Know"


New Zealand "100% Pure"

Incredible India

Las Vegas - What Happens Here, Stays Here

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