Las Vegas learned the hard way to not change what works when it brought back one of the most popular marketing campaigns in history, “What happens here, stays here.”

There are lessons in its reversal for other destinations and travel companies that keep searching for the next best promotion when what they have already attracts visitors.

Holiday Inn Express learned that lesson and brought back its popular “Stay Smart” campaign. It’s now featured in IHG‘s first European ad campaign, seen below. Costa Rica will likely come to a similar conclusion after shifting the focus of its campaigns from ecotourism to its people.

Watch the ads from Holiday Inn Express, Costa Rica, and three more travel companies below.




This awesome Holiday Inn Express ad compares guests to the way they portray themselves online and uses this as a launching point to promote the brand’s free Wi-Fi. The second ad attempts to comically describe guests’ eating habits. The joke falls flat, but the message of free breakfast gets delivered.

This is IHG‘s first ad campaign in Europe and is part of a global marketing push for Holiday Inn Express. The brand recently revitalized its wildly popular “Stay Smart” ads in the U.S.


Costa Rica is shifting the focus of its tourism marketing from ecotourism and biodiversity to the positive characteristics of Ticos, a term referring to natives of Costa Rica. The campaign is hoped to have a double effect of boosting tourism and attracting foreign investment. This explains why a destination best known for its beautiful landscape spends a significant portion of its newest ad following Ticos in lab coats.

As Las Vegas recently learned, don’t change what works.


Norwegian Airlines promotes itself as a common sense airline in this new ad highlighting its low fares to city’s closest airports. It exaggerates the effort it takes to travel from small airports to city centers by proposing that a man on crutches hike into the city.

It is also a dig at the European budget airlines that fly to airports farther away from city centers than the main airport.


This is a different kind of travel ad in which airBaltic targets potential staffers by laying out the adventure, travel, and passion that awaits them in an aviation career.

The ad follows the path of a young boy who starts the video throwing a paper plane and grows up to become a pilot, explore new cities, and — of course — fall in love.


Abu Dhabi invites the world to come watch the Under 17 World Cup in this new ad. It combines images of soccer matches with vistas of the six cities where the games will take place. It employs fun fast-paced parallels between soccer and Emirati culture to promote both the games and destinations in one shot.


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Tags: abu dhabi, air baltic, costa rica, marketing, norwegian air, skiftadsweek

Photo credit: Screen grab of airBaltic's new ad attracting new employees. airBaltic / YouTube

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