The top travel marketing campaigns of 2018

Posted By Emma Dodd on 2nd January 2019

In my role as senior travel writer at a leading content marketing firm, it’s part of my job to keep up-to-date on what brands in the sector are up to. It’s a task that I love and every year I like to pick my favourites from the past 12 months to share with you.

Here are the stand-out campaigns from 2018 that I think we can all learn from:

The G-Spot of Europe – Go Vilnius

It’s safe to say that Go Vilnius, the official tourism organisation for Lithuania’s capital, caused a bit of a stir when it launched its headline campaign earlier this year. Featuring a lady clutching at a bedspread featuring a map of Europe, the hook read: “Vilnius: The G-spot of Europe”.

To back up this statement, the tagline added: “Nobody knows where it is, but when you find it – it’s amazing”. It was a clever marketing strategy for a lesser known destination and one that paid off, as it gained plenty of press attention.

Carrying out a campaign with sexual connotations can be risky, but Go Vilnius proved that by doing it in a smart way, it can pay off. Being smutty just for the sake of it can fall flat, but it’s clear that nobody will forget this piece of marketing in a hurry.

Time to get out – Berghaus

Standing at a Tube station in London, I noticed a large advertising poster that spoke to me as a marketing professional, traveller and prolific Instagram user. It featured a label, like the one you would find on a jacket or a piece of outdoor adventure kit that said: “Starting to dream in Instagram filters?” followed by the strapline: “Berghaus. Time to get out.”

This multi-platform campaign is the biggest the clothing brand has every launched and taps into the frustrations of modern life for those who love the great outdoors. Other strapline being used in the Time to Get Out messaging include: “Stuck in meetings about meetings?” and “Is clicking Next Episode the most exercise you’ve done today?”

Representing a means of escape from our high-pressured lives, Berghaus has nailed the biggest desire within its demographic. Look out for the campaign as its extended across digital platforms in the coming months.

Boleyn is Back – Tower of London

I have to admit that I hadn’t heard about this digital campaign until I saw a presentation about it at World Travel Market in November. Despite not seeing it unfold in real time, I was really impressed by the premise and the attention to detail when it was rolled out. What’s more, it was not a campaign with a huge budget, but one that relied mainly on creativity and imagination.

Anne Boleyn is one of the most fascinating characters associated with the Tower of London and the attraction’s marketers decided to take advantage of this. They launched a social media campaign in advance of a play all about the queen, showing her day out and about around London.

She took over the Tower’s Twitter account, as the actress’ day was documented with the hashtag #Boleynisback. Other organisations got involved, with the likes of Transport for London detailing her first trip on the Tube: “More comfortable than the royal horse-drawn carriage”.

It all came to a climax with a press conference from Thomas Cromwell stating that the queen had been arrested. To find out the rest of the story, the audience was invited to book tickets to see The Last Days of Anne Boleyn play at the Tower.