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Campaign Highlights: Impressive Restart

In 2022, owing to the pandemic roughly 70% of the Vienna Tourist Board’s work was geared towards nearby markets and the remaining 30% to long-haul markets. The main focus of the organization’s marketing activities was on 12 markets: Germany, France, the UK, Italy and the USA as well as Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, the Arab countries, Japan and China. Where travel restrictions were still in place, the Vienna Tourist Board inspired its guests through a "digital always on" approach with its campaign defined by – and named for – the theme for the year of Celebrate Life.Experience Vienna.

Celebrate Life.Experience Vienna.

After two years shaped by repeated travel standstills, the Vienna Tourist Board called on savvy city travelers to celebrate life in the capital again on its digital channels, inspired by three slogans: Celebrate the Arts, Celebrate the City, and Celebrate the Extraordinary. Run in English only, the Celebrate Life.Experience Vienna. campaign played out in seven markets – Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, the UK and the US, and racked up some 91 million contacts across the three phases in 2022.

The 2022 issue of the Vienna Tourist Board’s annual Vienna, Intl. magazine was also inspired by Celebrate Life. Experience Vienna. It took readers on a whistlestop tour of the city which gave them an insight into the daily lives and work of various figures who are busy shaping the look and feel of the capital behind the scenes – and out on the main stage: content covered everything from silversmithery and street art to stunning architectural monuments. The magazine is published in German and English.

United Cities of Tourism: European City Tourism Alliance

The Vienna Tourist Board’s “United Cities of Tourism” campaign, which saw the organization capitalize on its international cooperation and strong partnerships, generated more than 143 million contacts. On board in their capacity as national carriers, Austrian Airlines and Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) paved the way for a first: thanks to their support, the United Cities of Tourism campaign was not only aimed at encouraging visitors to travel to Vienna – local residents were also able to participate in the campaign.

© PID/Christian Jobst

“Help your city. Travel to Vienna.” was the core message of the campaign which ran in six European markets in May and June 2022, with digital video seeding helping to raise awareness in key urban centers in Germany (Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne), Switzerland (Zurich, Basel, Geneva), Italy (Rome, Milan, Florence), the UK (London, Manchester), Spain (Barcelona) and France (Paris, Lyon, Nice).

Tailored to the target markets, ads featured headlines such as “Hilf der Clubkultur Berlins. In einem Kaffeehaus in Wien.” (Help Berlin’s club culture. In a coffeehouse in Vienna) and “Soignez votre relation avec Paris. Ayez une aventure avec Vienne.” (Help your relationship with Paris. Have an affair with Vienna) gave a humorous reminder that by traveling to Vienna people, were, in fact, helping their own cities. The large-format ads were displayed at high-frequency locations such as Milan Cathedral, the Beaugrenelle shopping center in Paris, on Berlin's Kurfürstendamm on around 50 backlit posters, and at more than 50 high-profile locations on the London Underground including Piccadilly Circus, Baker Street and Covent Garden. For every (statistically determined) hundredth visitor who traveled to Vienna from Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the UK, Spain or France in the aforementioned period, the Vienna Tourist Board gave away a return ticket to one of the 17 cities listed above in a prize draw. In total, 2,162 Viennese residents were sent on vacation courtesy of Austrian Airlines and ÖBB, out of a total of 16,561 qualifying participants.

A promotional video provided the narrative to go with the United Cities of Tourism campaign. It showed the protagonist by the name of Karl – a clichéd and typically grumpy Viennese man – on his path towards enlightenment in his favorite coffeehouse. To start with, he was less than happy that people were traveling again – and to his city of all places. Ultimately, he came to the realization that city tourism also played a pivotal role in his life, and had a major influence on various aspects of his existence including, for example, the survival of his favorite coffeehouse. Karl’s relentless negativity came as an ironic reference to the results of the 2022 Expat City Ranking, which named Vienna the unfriendliest city in the world.

The tourist boards of London, Paris, Berlin, Milan and Barcelona also teamed up to share a common message in a social media swap, expressing an unprecedented sense of solidarity by sharing images of each others’ cities on their own Instagram channels. In the Interactive Advertising Bureau Austria’s (IAB) 2022 webAD awards – one of the most important prizes in the nation’s digital economy – the Vienna Tourist Board picked up bronze in the Best International Campaign category for United Cities of Tourism.

Belly: A Surrealist Homage to Enjoyment

The Vienna Tourist Board produced a six-minute short film titled Belly – A Vienna Tourist Board Original that reflected the city’s diverse offering, which is bundled in the five assets of the Vienna brand: Imperial Heritage, Music and Cultural Attractions, Culinary Culture, Green Vienna and Modern Livable City. Knowing that three quarters of all guests to Vienna visit the city for its sights and cultural diversity, Belly specifically reached out to those international city travelers who, after the long period of isolation, were longing for fresh encounters, new cultural experiences and relatable moments of enjoyment. In October and November alone, the special short notched up six million views and 32 million earned media contacts. Besides the film, a 60-second trailer and several 15-second teasers were also played on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and streaming platforms in five markets (US, UK, Germany, Italy, France).

Queens of Vienna: A Portrait of Vienna's Drag Scene

As a cosmopolitan, livable and diverse capital, equality runs deep in Vienna’s DNA. To mark Pride Month in June, in its short film Queens of Vienna the Vienna Tourist Board gave center stage to the stars of Vienna's drag scene – Kleinkunstprinzessin Grazia Patricia, Metamorkid and Ryta Tale – reaffirming that “in Vienna, you can be whoever you want to be." With a running time of approximately 10 minutes, the film portrayed the three home-grown drag queens in private and live on stage. Some of Vienna's top locations – including Schönbrunn Palace, the Belvedere Palace, the Burgtheater, the Gartenbaukino and the Ernst Fuchs Museum – opened their doors for the shoot to provide an unforgettable backdrop to the artists’ eccentric performances. In June alone, the film racked up 470,000 views.

Tête-à-Tête with Sigmund Freud in the Metaverse

Reaching a worldwide audience of some ten million, the Vienna Tourist Board’s Get me out, Freud! campaign set its sights on digitally augmented reality, a phenomenon that has gathered even more speed and traction as a direct result of the coronavirus. With the support of the Sigmund Freud Museum, an avatar of the founding father of psychoanalysis was sent to the metaverse in April. And it was here in this virtual space that Sigmund Freud sought out other users’ avatars and suggested they take a break from the online world – and come to real-world Vienna instead. Supported by a raft of international PR measures launched by the Vienna Tourist Board in the USA, the UK, Germany and Austria, the campaign picked up silver in the 2022 Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) webAD awards Best International Campaign category as well as a bronze for Best Tech & Innovation Campaign.

Vienna Tourist Board Profiles Strong Women

On the occasion of International Women's Day on March 8, the Vienna Tourist Board dedicated its "Meet ..." social media portrait series to some of the Viennese women who are playing a key role in shaping the capital's visitor economy. Female museum and opera directors were portrayed, as well as entrepreneurs and artists. In addition to recently appointed cultural managers Lilli Hollein (MAK), Angela Stief (Albertina modern) and Marie-Theres Arnbom (Theatre Museum), the series looked at the contributions of Volksoper Director Lotte de Beer, gallery owner Sophie Tappeiner, Art Directrice Laura Karasinski (Atelier Karasinski) and social entrepreneur Julia Krenmayr (Full Board). Insights into their career paths, role models, personal values and places of inspiration in Vienna resonated with viewers in a successful campaign that generated 188,431 contacts.

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