The long winding road of travel can be filled with humor. And humor sells. I woke up with this idea today, and decided to run with it. Why not spend the morning looking for “funny” travel ads, and post them here? And why not call them “Top 10?” After all, so many bloggers and other writers (on and also offline) claim to be authorities by labeling things “Top,” and giving “ultimate” opinions based on their own personal preferences, experience or sponsored articles.
Fair enough – after all, what defines authority? In the age of social media, is that the only legitimization we actually need, at least for web cred (likes, shares, comments, number of followers and views)? So I’ll jump on the “Top [insert number]” bandwagon, too. Without being sponsored. *sad face* Except I’ll tell you what others have labeled the “funniest” and derivatives of such. And sometimes speculate as to why. I do realize that by doing that, I’m giving these travel ads free ad space…
The travel ads are listed in no particular order of laugh-inducing factor. After all, that’s highly subjective… isn’t it?
Thorne Travel Advert 2014
The British newspaper Telegraph labeled the 2014 ad by this Scottish travel agency “the funniest travel advert ever.” Its low budget and cheesiness (said to have been done on purpose), do have a few chuckle-worthy moments… but “funniest ever?” The post did rank pretty high on Google when I searched, so kudos for securing that spot.
It may not have been a sponsored post, but to me it sure sounds like one. And, let’s be honest, if you’re a media company promoting an ad, often you’re getting some money from whoever made the ad (it is an ad, after all). The Telegraph‘s online travel section is filled with the “best,” “most,” “top” and other superlatives linking to articles, which makes me question their, uh, unpaid impartiality.
“There’s nothing like Australia”
I quite enjoyed this creative, apparently high-budget commercial promoting tourism in Australia. It’s evidently a play on the cliché tourist mecca of Disney World and its musicals – a mixture of Beauty and the Beast‘s “Little Town”, but countrywide, and end-of-evening fireworks at the Cinderella castle.
Series of Aruba travel ads
This ad series set at Aruba beaches is amusing to me for its one-liners and main character, a middle-aged American tourist, and perhaps for the bad acting of its supporting cast, as well. Here’s one example. (You can find others on YouTube).
Israel the “holy” land
And this one: Funny? Sexist? Poking fun at the sexism of stereotypical young male tourists? Trying to improve Israel’s image of bombs and violence (via sex)? All of the above? You be the judge.
I selected #2, #3 and #4 from a post named “5 best travel and tourism commercials ever,” from the Web site http://travelever.com. The site’s “about” section says it “hopes to show how many interesting and unusual places, things and objects exist on earth whether you have heard about them or not… just book a ticket, a hotel room, buy an excursion or rent a car and play it off the cuff.” It also overtly promotes travel accessories from certain brands. Hmmmm. Blurred lines. Well, these featured “best” ads in particular – based on locations as you can see, rather than a travel agency – were quite good, in my opinion; I couldn’t just pick one to post here. And the Web site even gives a little wider context for the post: “Travel associations and government bodies of some sunny countries spend a lot of money for creative advertisement hoping for future incomes from their travel industries.” Indeed. And it is also a popular tool for nation branding.
“It’s smarter to travel in groups”
I find this funny in an adorable way (from a Flemish bus company).
Photobombed by a squirrel in Canada
Come on, Banff. This is just silly!
I find things the funniest when they seem to be taken seriously by their creators but just come out so cheesy. This one made me chortle. Oh, Singapore!
Hip-hop meets Oktoberfest
Out of Leavenworth, Washington state, USA – modeled after a Bavarian village. This video is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. I wonder what real Bavarians think about it?
#5, #6, #7 and #8 are from BuzzFeed, a list called “21 WTF Travel Ads That Will Make You Rethink Your Next Vacation.” The list also mentions ad #1 (Thorne Travel). Making fun of things is also a way to promote them, and I feel that some of the commercials featured on the list really do deserve to be made fun of regardless. As you may have noticed during your web wanderings, the very popular and profitable BuzzFeed site – which is, by the way, driven by sponsored posts or “native advertising” – has a lot of lists (a trusted formula for making content go viral), and is written in quite an irreverent way. I think that’s where most of its appeal comes from, although the site now has a push for more elaborate, deeper-digging articles.
And finally, two ads I found directly via YouTube (where the lines between paid and unpaid content are basically completely blurred)…
Spontaneous Swiss mountain getaway (on user Cat M‘s channel)
What if a guy in an ad was dialoguing with you in real time?
Centraal Beheer insurance from Netherlands (on user JJ Binks‘s channel)
The Hangover II – but sober. And even worse.