Skift Take

When even destinations are telling visitors to put down the technology, it must mean that most are missing out on authentic experiences by seeing it through a lens of their phone or preconceived notions.

Travelers are rarely in need of information these days with the research available to them online before a trip, the real-time updates streaming from their smartphones and the minute-by-minute replays they can relive through photos once they get home. But is that really travel? Destinations encourage travelers to let go of their devices and itineraries and actually explore in this week’s ad roundup.


Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau recently launched a new campaign “Let Hawaii Happen,” which shows visitors whose trips take a turn for the better when they open themselves up to locals, to getting lost, and to enjoying the destination without smartphones blocking their view. It’s a great message about enjoying where you are instead of documenting it all for a later time.

Visit Mississippi, like Hawaii, wants visitors to put down their guide books and itineraries and let the destination happen to them. The clip shows the spectrum of the state’s culture integrating its past including blues and country-fried chicken to its present arts and sports scenes while positioning its people and personality as the constant throughout.

This ad is one of 25 that Travel Portland commissioned Wieden + Kennedy to create over the span of five days. The man in the commercial Alexander Barrett wrote the ads. The quick quirky nature and its cast fits Portland’s personality perfectly giving locals and potential visitors a reason to watch.

Merrell Outside is an outdoor gear company that equips customers to travel the outdoors. The ad is actually a video of a stunt in which a man sits in a hammock in the center of a busy urban intersection, attracting the attention of onlookers below. Merrell’s message? Adventure can start anywhere and they can help make it happen.


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Tags: marketing, skiftadsweek

Photo credit: Hawaii's new ad campaign shows what happens when visitors open themselves up to locals and adventure. Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau / YouTube

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