Digital and print adverts are a crucial part of destination marketing, and getting the wording right can be tricky.
Space is tight, your reader is busy and you might have conflicting opinions to deal with.
So where do you start?
Looking at other adverts within your sector isn’t cheating. In fact, it’s recommended, but only if you use them for inspiration to shape your unique destination marketing campaign.
Here, I’ve picked out seven examples of adverts that use words to bring a visitor destination to life, and I’ve explained why each one works so well underneath the image.
I hope they inspire you to start thinking about different ways of marketing your UK destination. Let me know if I can help you.
1. Mind the neighbours: Maria Island National Park, Tasmania, Australia
This advert is genius. It raises a smile, it’s written in a conversational tone and it gets the message across: holiday here and you’ll be roaming amongst the wildlife. Each line seduces the reader and draws them to the next, which is exactly what good copywriting aims to do.
“Honestly, you can’t go anywhere on Maria Island without being surrounded by them. Wombats. Pademelons. Wallabies. It’s ridiculous. They’re everywhere. Suppose that’s what happens when you turn an entire island into a wildlife sanctuary. You can hear them too, rustling about, singing to each other, munching away next to you, while you’re just trying to take in the old historic convict buildings and the windswept landscapes.
It’s very distracting.”
2. There’s nothing to do here: Nebraska, USA
‘There’s nothing to do here’ might sound counterintuitive for a tourism advert, but the headline does exactly what a headline should do; it grabs your attention. As a reader, you’re linking the headline to the image and you want to know more. Cue the neat little paragraph that talks directly to Visit Nebraska’s fun-loving target audience. A great example of turning ‘nothing’ into something exciting and adventurous.
“In Nebraska, we believe that only boring people get bored. So we invent our own fun. Like when we realized that a livestock tank would float, and thought “It’s a boat.” Soon, “tanking” became the preferred method of meandering down our slow-moving rivers. It might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but if it sounds as good to you as it did to us, go to VisitNebraska.com for a free Travel Guide. And welcome aboard.”
3. Things to do: Odesa*, Ukraine
I like the concept of this advert, although the design and non-native language is noticeable. Lists are an effective way to encourage readership because they accommodate our short attention spans! This copywriter has used plenty of verbs to make the list come to life; count, haggle, learn and dance are much more engaging than the commonly-used visit or explore.
- To walk around Odesa Marine Station
- To count steps of Potemkin stairs
- Visit old Odesa’s nook
- To haggle on the Privoz market
- To experience Odesa cuisine and taste local wine
- Walk around Turkey and Greece in the center of Odesa
- To visit Odesa Opera and Ballet House
- Open the door to the House of the Sun
- To learn the legends of Odesa catacombs
- Dance at Odesa nightclubs
*On another note, Odesa appears to have two ‘correct’ spellings, despite the apparent difference in the web address.
4. No backrests: Vienna, Austria
This is a controversial one! This advert was part of a series campaign called Unrating Vienna, where the tourist board took real negative reviews and used them alongside the question “So who decides what you like?”
The ad takes any theory about social proof and flips it on its head, in the hope that readers will be inspired (by the image) to rate the city for themselves. It might be risky, but it certainly catches attention and is unexpected.
5. Be more outside: National Parks UK
This National Parks UK advert was released during the Coronavirus pandemic, at a time when people across the country had a refreshed gratitude for getting outdoors. Just three words, timed to perfection, created a powerful advert for visiting a National Park in 2020.
The choice of words also gives the reader a sense of familiarity, as ‘Be More ___’ has been used in several other successful marketing campaigns, starting with o2’s famous ‘Be More Dog’.
Simple, but effective.
6. What’s a five letter word for ‘off the beaten path?’ Maine, USA
This advert for Maine is an excellent example of conversational copy. If someone asked you this question without showing you the advert, you’d probably try to think of the answer. You’d likely enjoy the challenge and think you were contributing to solving a crossword puzzle. The advert draws the reader in by using familiarity and a seemingly simple riddle – which grabs attention before revealing the ‘answer’.
7. Where do you want to be next winter? Oman
This advert also uses a question to raise attention, but this time it’s designed to get readers thinking about planning a visit to Oman. Another example of mid-pandemic marketing, the copywriter has opted to look ahead and encourage the reader to imagine where they might go when restrictions are lifted.
The three steps that explain ‘how it works’ focus on the stress-free booking process to make it easy for the reader to take action; another key consideration in good copywriting.
I’m always on the lookout for inspirational adverts from all sectors, so if you have some favourites I’d love to see them! I hope this post has been useful and has given you something to think about when planning your next destination marketing campaign.
As always, if I can help with your copywriting needs, please feel free to get in touch.