Danish travel agency Spies has been getting a lot of buzz for an amusing and clever viral campaign, “Do It for Denmark,” which positions a holiday as the perfect way for patriotic Danes to help reverse the country’s falling birth rate while reminding couples about one of the best benefits of a vacation.
Denmark’s national birth rate is reportedly at a 27-year low, raising fears that not enough children will be born to support the aging population of the future (a problem shared by various other countries in Europe and beyond). Spies’ video presents Emma, a Dane seen walking in Paris who was conceived in that city while her parents took a little getaway, according to the voiceover (“If only these walls could talk”). It turns out that Emma’s case is not so rare. The ad claims that 10 percent of Denmark’s babies are conceived on holiday, and “Danes have 46 percent more sex on holiday compared to their everyday lives.” We soon see Emma getting it on with her partner.
For would-be vacationers not all that motivated by Denmark’s demographic problem, Spies has created a more tangible incentive. Customers who prove they have conceived a child on a trip will win a three-year supply of baby goods and a “child-friendly” holiday. The campaign site even includes an ovulation calendar to help increase the odds. (And for those who can’t compete—same-sex couples, older couples—“all the fun is in the participation,” reassures the video.)
Various initiatives around the world have encouraged baby-making, as Time notes. We’ve spotlighted a tongue-in-cheek animated R&B video from Mentos in Singapore, aimed at helping to fuel conversation around a topic that many Singaporeans shy away from discussing publicly. Whether or not Danes are actually anxious about their low birth rate, the campaign succeeds in raising an important issue, turning the viewers’ thoughts to the joys of vacation and stirring up some laughs.
Australia’s “No Leave, No Life” campaign aims to drive domestic tourism by emphasizing that it’s healthy to take advantage of vacation days (there’s been a trend toward stockpiling annual leave) and that traveling domestically helps to stimulate our economy. “A little bit of leave,” one poster says, “not only helps us out, it gives you the chance to recharge the batteries and reunite with friends and family.” Touring Australia is positioned as a means to “really win the work/life battle.” The work ran in outdoor and print, and the initial outdoor media seemed to follow people on their route to work.
Since the campaign leverages a confrontational tone and a negative insight centering on the overwhelming “work/life battle” we all face, the most likely response is arguably heightened anxiety. Many commuters may be left feeling that they in fact have “no life,” especially given that achieving a work-life balance requires an overall approach—it’s a lifestyle, not a matter of simply taking three or four days off out of 365.
What this campaign does execute well, however, is the digital strategy. A series of Webisodes where actor/TV presenter Ernie Dingo surprises nominated “hard workers” by taking them away for a break effectively communicates how Australian holidays are both inspiring and accessible.
On holiday in one of the most remote places in India, I was surprised to meet a number of people who were there on a long break, having no job to rush back to. Their stories were similar: They used to be expats working in London (from Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., etc.), they were made redundant (expats tend to be the first to go), and before going back home, they’d decided to take an extended trip—something they’d always wanted to do but never had the time for. They stay in guesthouses or do home stays; eat in local eateries; take long-distance buses rather than fly or hire taxis; go on meditation treks and walks. They’re on relatively modest budgets and things aren’t always comfortable, but the experience, they say, is very fulfilling and inspiring.
Such “gap year” travel, along with doing volunteer projects overseas, is apparently booming. Although in general travelers have greatly cut back on overseas holidays during this recession, people are being forced to re-evaluate their priorities and values—so while spending more to make the most of one’s limited holiday may no longer be viable, investing in a long break now seems like a good way to spend one’s limited money. People will spend on what’s meaningful.
Being made redundant is obviously something you’d rather avoid, but the people I met looked as though they’d gained much more than they probably would have were they still employed, at least from a life-fulfillment point of view.
Photo credit: premasagar