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Best Travel Ads This Week: Walking a Line Between Emotion and Manipulation


Apr 04, 2014 9:30 am

British Airways  / YouTube

British Airways is in the habit of surprising real people with heartfelt ads: a brand with a heart or emotional manipulation? British Airways / YouTube

This week’s roundup of travel ads use strong visuals to manipulate viewers into feeling a certain way, whether it’s being lured by the temptations of Vegas or instilling guilt in those that live far from home. These ads walk a thin moral line between suggestive and demanding.


British Airways is now in the habit of creating ads that surprise and impact real people. In this particular ad promoting travel from UK to Australia, British Airways tapes a young girl telling her grandparents about all the things she loves in Australia. The video is then shown to the unexpecting grandparents in a movie theater in the UK.

BA has found its marketing niche and will likely stick to it until it becomes a tired tradition.

San Diego Tourism‘s spring ad is a cute short spot that relays its message, “happiness is calling,” quite literally with a series of smiling sun-soaked faces. The backdrop of the ad is a slideshow of San Diego’s beaches and notable attractions.

The Kokopelli Hostel in Lima, Peru, is trying to stand out in the very crowded market of Cusco by turning business cards into coca leaves that tourists can chew upon their arrival. It’s a clever campaign that ensure tourists will hold onto their business cards and ideally feel a connection to the brand driving them to seek it out in all Peruvian cities.

Aria Resort and Casino Las Vegas continues to roll out videos as part of its “This is how we Vegas” campaign. The short 30 second clips put the Vegas spin on spa treatments, pool parties, and room service in order to capture viewers’ attention and tease them about what a trip to Vegas could bring.

Yorkshire‘s new ad tries to explore the depth of the destination through the lens of the Tour de France, which will depart from the county in 2014. It tries to relay a high energy destination, but the song’s similarity to Brand USA’s theme song makes us cringe with band memories.

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