Tag: Propaganda

Did Canaletto Paint Venice as Tourists Wanted to See It?

The Economist’s Prospero blogger thinks so. In a recent post, he describes a new exhibit at London’s National Gallery, Canaletto and His Rivals, as “painted propaganda,” and argues that the Venice depicted in its paintings bears little resemblance to the real deal:

The sun always shines in Venice; the sky is always blue. This is how visitors like to remember that most beautiful island city. Not coincidentally, that is how Canaletto most often painted the place. His clients, after all, were Grand Tourists, many of them back home in dark English country houses, worrying about farm rents. They longed for the gorgeous, licentious place their memories turned into paradise.

(Via The Daily Dish)


Tourism Promotion Through ... Food Trucks?

The Wall Street Journal notes a potential new trend: Foreign tourism boards stirring up interest abroad by offering free food-truck meals to entice potential visitors. Here’s reporter Sumathi Reddy:

Foreign countries are increasingly hoping food is the key to New Yorkers’ hearts—and purse strings. In June, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism had a Treats & Tweets truck dishing out free Junkanoo drumsticks (chicken wings), Bahamian macaroni and cheese and virgin Bahama Mamas for a week. “It was promoting tourism and travel to the Bahamas using food as a conduit,” said Chelsey Lutz, a spokeswoman for the ministry.

This is one form of promotion I can definitely get behind. (Via @collazoprojects)


Venice Faces Backlash Over ‘Grotesque’ Billboards

I don’t get it. Why would a city that’s banned shirtlessness, pushed back against souvenir vendors and fought a war against pigeons—all in the name of preserving the urban scenery—allow its most famous views to be obliterated by building-high billboards?

But that’s just what Venice has done, and the results are hideous. And the Mayor’s response to criticism over the ads? “If people want to see the building they should go home and look at a picture of it in a book.” Nice.


Time Traveling Through Travel Ads

Over at the Big Money, Martha C. White is the latest to dig up some old travel ads to smile and gawk at. Sophia showcased a good batch of old-timey travel ads from magazines last year at Flyover America.


Travel Posters: Pan Am in the Early ’70s

This post on Eye Blog has a History Detectives feel, chronicling the history of a forgotten Pan Am Airlines advertising campaign from the early ’70s.

The effort to rebrand the troubled airline failed—eventually, so did the airline—but the designs are now celebrated. A few of the posters were recently featured in an exhibit at MoMA in New York. Check out a few below. They’re beautiful.

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Should Airlines go Nascar?

Should Airlines go Nascar? iStockPhoto

Bob Ecker has a modest proposal for the airline industry

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Iowa’s New Tourism Campaign: ‘Arrest a Traveler’

Promotional campaigns just keep getting weirder. The latest: A small town in Iowa that had its sheriffs “arrest” a pair of motorists with out-of-state plates and offer them a free night’s stay. Predictably, accusations of abuse of police power have been flying—though not from the “arrested” couple, who noted that the town is “darling.” Mission accomplished? (Via @BudTravel)


In Venice, Will Tourists Put up With the Advertising ‘Bombardment’?

In Venice, Will Tourists Put up With the Advertising ‘Bombardment’? Photo by linz ellinas via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by linz ellinas via Flickr (Creative Commons)

As Judith Martin writes, “Venice has always been frankly and happily commercial.” But it’s also taken pride in its beauty. Now that Venice is in a bad place financially, it’s turning more and more to commercial advertising that resides on and around the iconic places we all want to see when we visit. Martin’s piece in the Financial Times looks at the possible repercussions.


Welcome, JetAmerica and flydubai

Welcome, JetAmerica and flydubai Photo by joiseyshowaa, via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo of Dubai’s airport by joiseyshowaa, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The list of lost-cost carriers now has two new names: JetAmerica and flydubai.

JetAmerica, a charter company with a home base in Toledo, Ohio, will fly to five cities. They are advertising $9 fares, with a “convenience fee” of $5, thus selling some seats (before taxes and fees) for $14.

Over at The Cranky Flier, Brett Snyder isn’t optimistic. “I honestly couldn’t make this sound any worse if I tried,” Snyder writes. “The CEO is John Weikle, one of the original founders of Skybus.”

Meanwhile, in the U.A.E., flydubai has been born, with initial routes beginning this week between Dubai and Beirut and Amman. They plan to expand from there. “You’ll soon be able to flydubai to other cities in the Middle East, GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] and India,” their website states. “And eventually, the network will extend to Iran, Eastern Europe and North & East Africa.”

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Promo Videos Gone Wrong: No Wonder Israel Didn’t Make the World Cup?

Here’s a pet peeve: when products that I would otherwise enjoy launch advertising campaigns that are so overwhelmingly gendered, there’s no doubt that the company in question has no interest in me, my matching X chromosomes—or my money. (See: beer ads, professional sports promos, and a certain outdoors-oriented travel magazine.)

Why, you might ask, would the brightest advertising minds deliberately cut 50 percent of the world’s population out of their calculations, by doing the marketing equivalent of hanging up a “No Girls Allowed” sign? I’m still figuring out an answer to that one. In the meantime, check out this Israeli tourism spot, and tell me this isn’t the beer ad of travel promos:

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Is an ‘Angels and Demons’ Boycott in the Works?

Is an ‘Angels and Demons’ Boycott in the Works? Publicity still from "Angels and Demons" (via IGN)
Publicity still from “Angels and Demons” (via IGN)

Get the Big Picture blogger Colin Boyd rounds up rumors from Reuters and Italy’s La Stampa newspaper about a possible Vatican-backed boycott of the upcoming Dan Brown adaptation. The movie—which has already spawned the inevitable bus tours—hits theaters in May, and Boyd is doubtful that a boycott would have much impact (or at least, not the sort of impact the Vatican is hoping for) on its potential success. He writes: “Perhaps there is no better, more effective form of advertising and buzz-building than a good ol’ fashioned protest. I can’t think of any product or service, actor or athlete who became less well known following a public ignoring session.”


Promo Videos Gone Wrong: ‘Tourist’

OK, OK. So this isn’t precisely a promotional video from a hapless tourism board. But still, this hilariously dated trailer for a 1980 made-for-TV movie, Tourist—described as “an adventure-filled journey through the glamor capitals of Europe”—fits the bill and gets a chuckle or two, don’t you think?

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New York Dubs West 53rd St. ‘U2 Way’

New York Dubs West 53rd St. ‘U2 Way’ Photo by The Truth About... via Flickr (Creative Commons)

In honor of the Irish band’s unprecedented five-night appearance on Letterman this week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has temporarily renamed a section of West 53rd Street “U2 Way,” the AP reports. The section being renamed is close to the intersection of 53rd and Broadway, where the Late Show is taped. It’s a fine idea, I suppose (and a nice bonus promotion for the brand-new album, too), but if any street in North America is going to be named after U2, shouldn’t it be the one where this video was filmed? (Via NewYorkology)


Travel Nostalgia: The World in Vintage Posters

I’ve confessed to my abiding love of postcards before, and now I have another confession: I am a total sucker for the vintage travel poster and all its varied (fridge magnet, notebook, calendar, tote bag) incarnations. There’s something so refreshing about those old Cunard posters, or the early advertisements for transcontinental passenger rail. They have a guileless wonder to them, and a total lack of cynicism or irony—because they come from an era when nobody thought they had already seen it all. So I was thrilled to read on the Shoretrips blog about a major vintage poster auction being held in New York.

The auction’s already come and gone, but the entire collection is still viewable online. There are more than 400 posters in the sale, though, and only some of them are travel-related—so for all my fellow vintage-travel-poster-lovers (and I know you’re out there) I’ve put together a list of my favorites, and a cheat sheet for the rest.

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Nebraska! Whodathunkit?

I don’t know what became of my Nebraska sweatshirt. It vanished many years ago and I still mourn the loss.

I bought the bright red (go Huskers!), short-sleeved sweatshirt in a thrift shop and wore it for years after my first (and so far only) visit to Nebraska in the late 1970s.

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Time Travel to Honolulu

It’s politically incorrect, not entirely accurate historically, and oddly, the producers chose to intersperse “Aloha Oe” with “The Skater’s Waltz” in the sound track. But the boards are huge, the leis are fluffy and plentiful, and the footage of Waikiki Beach? Wow, it looks nothing like what I saw last year:

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Bring the Comfy Chair!

If you’re a travel writer, you now have a reason to be paranoid: people really are paying attention to your every move online. Condé Nast Traveler’s Wendy Perrin has a great cautionary tale up on the Perrin Post as part of her family travel series. When she arrived yesterday in Anguilla, the island’s tourism/hotel association was waiting for her. (Cue ominous music.) They tortured her by giving her tours of high-end properties! She thinks it was because they were monitoring her blog. Verdict: vacation bummer, especially when you’re traveling with small children (as Perrin was). Or in my case, you have the mentality of a small child. Just show me the infinity pool, and let me go home!

This got me to thinking. Have any World Hum readers broadcast an intended destination (via Facebook, blog, Twitter or novelty T-shirt) and subsequently been met by the welcome wagons at the dock? The closest I’ve come is some hotel recommendations in Panama City after I whined about the prices there on Twitter. It didn’t make things any cheaper, but it was entertaining to be informed in 140 character bursts. However, the thought of being whisked away in a van by some eager hoteliers sounds more terrifying than informative to me. 


TSA Okays Bin-Bottom Ads Nationwide

The ads that bewildered me and Walter Kirn at Los Angeles International Airport will now be seen at security checkpoints at terminals across the U.S.


Visit Myanmar—That’s an Order

Visit Myanmar—That’s an Order Photo by Stephen Brookes

Travel to Myanmar has slowed to a trickle. But a decade ago, with great fanfare, the government launched a new tourism campaign. Stephen Brookes, then Rangoon bureau chief for Asia Times, remembers its bizarre launch ceremony.

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