INSPIRED BY ICELAND by The Brooklyn Brothers

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INSPIRED BY ICELAND

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Media Film
Market United Kingdom
Agency The Brooklyn Brothers
Released June 2012

Awards

Cannes Lions 2012
PR Lions Best International PR Campaign Gold

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Best Campaign
Category: Best International PR Campaign
Advertiser: ICELAND
Product/Service: BRAND AWARENESS
Agency: THE BROOKLYN BROTHERS London, UNITED KINGDOM
Advertiser ICELAND
Product BRAND AWARENESS
Entrant THE BROOKLYN BROTHERS London, UNITED KINGDOM
Type of Entry: Best Campaign
Category: Best International PR Campaign
Title: INSPIRED BY ICELAND
Advertiser/Client: ICELAND
Product/Service: BRAND AWARENESS
Entrant Company: THE BROOKLYN BROTHERS London, UNITED KINGDOM
DM/Advertising Agency: THE BROOKLYN BROTHERS London, UNITED KINGDOM
2nd DM/Advertising Agency: ISLENSKA London, ICELAND
PR Agency: ISLENSKA London, ICELAND

Creative Agency: (The Brooklyn Brothers)
Creative Agency: (Islenska)

Describe the campaign/entry
The Challenge:
We were asked to develop the next stage in the successful ‘Inspired by Iceland’ campaign that had turned around Iceland’s tourism industry following the ash cloud in 2010.

The first stage had reversed the decline in tourism during the all important summer months, but for the next stage the Icelandic government challenged us to answer the following question: “How do we get more people to visit our country during the winter months?”

Objectives:
1) Increase tourism numbers during the winter months.
2) Strengthen Iceland’s image as a year round destination.
3) Generate global PR and get people talking about Iceland.

Strategy:
The campaign had to connect with an audience who we defined as the ‘enlightened tourist’: They are independently minded and don’t like to go where everyone else goes; they actively embrace different cultures; they love meeting local people; and they’re thirsty to do things they’ve never done before.

Therefore, we wanted to create a ‘not for everyone’ experience that this group would value and talk about. We wanted them to feel privileged and part of something special.

The Idea:
Visitors to Iceland this winter weren’t just treated as tourists: They became 'Honorary Icelanders'.

As 'Honorary Icelanders' they had access to experiences offering a unique look into the life of Iceland. We asked Icelanders to open their homes and thousands responded.

Results:
We made news in 57 countries, generated 1.18bn global media impressions, doubled consideration of Iceland and created the most successful winter in Iceland’s history.

Describe the brief from the client
The key objectives for this campaign were to increase visitor numbers by positioning Iceland as an all year round destination, creating an idea that would generate global PR and inspiring a hard to target 'enlightened tourist’ to visit Iceland during the winter months.

Research showed that 'enlightened tourists' were likely to think of Iceland as a summer destination, with few Icelandic experiences that held appeal to them in the winter months which they perceived as cold and inhospitable.



Results


Thousands of Icelanders opened their homes and through their efforts the campaign achieved its key objectives:

1) Iceland's most successful year for winter tourism ever
- Iceland experienced a 16% increase in visitor numbers. This accounts for £34m incremental revenue for Iceland.

2) Consideration of Iceland more than doubled
- Consideration of Iceland as a winter holiday destination increased by 124% during the campaign amongst those aware of it.

3) A campaign that made news around the world
- The campaign earned 1.18bn global media impressions, in over 57 countries.
- Coverage in almost every major news media globally.
- £9.6m worth of coverage on a budget of less than £98,000.



Creative Execution


Iceland Opens Its Doors

The first stage of the campaign was designed to get Icelanders to open their homes to tourists. To encourage them, the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, kick-started the campaign with an historic online address to the nation in which he pledged his own unique invite and urged his fellow citizens to do the same.

The President’s address sparked thousands of responses from Icelanders across the country. They were then asked to submit their pledges to the ‘Inspired by Iceland’ website. Tourists could then browse invites, decide which type of unique experience inspired them and could apply for that experience, direct to the Icelander who offered it, through the website and Facebook.

As tourists arrived in Iceland they were given an ‘Honorary Icelander’ passport and escorted to their unique experience. We captured these amazing experiences and created an award-winning documentary that we then seeded online.




The Importance of Tourism:

After the economic collapse in Iceland, tourism replaced banking as the most important industry for the country. Visitor numbers during the summer months (apart from when the volcano hit) had been growing year on year but there had been little growth during the off-peak season.

A Perception Problem:
Iceland’s busiest tourism period (65% of all visitor numbers) has always been between May to September as tourists believe that these are the best months to visit. But the truth is that there is so much to do during the winter months too.




A deep understanding of the audience inspired the strategy for this campaign. We knew that the ‘enlightened tourist’ would want an experience that was totally unique.

But we had to be smart and make sure the campaign didn’t feel like a traditional marketing idea. We knew that it had to feel heartfelt, warm and sincere. So by using the people of Iceland as ambassadors of the country and asking them to invite people into their homes we could offer the ‘enlightened tourist’ something they had never experienced before.

This idea was more than a traditional awareness building PR campaign because it inspired people to get involved. The most important effect, beyond changing people's attitude towards Iceland, was behaviour change capable of generating bottom line results.