Making Connections

Christine Birkner, Molly Soat and Erin Golden
Marketing News
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Key Takeaways
  • For our global marketing issue, the Marketing News team delivers stories of inspirational marketing campaigns from far-flung locations to you.
  • The global marketing campaigns covered in this issue authentically connect messages with causes and brands with users.
  • Effective campaigns provide a glimpse into the targeted cultures.
Professionals in all industries travel the world to find inspiration, immersing themselves in new cultures and new ways of thinking. For our global marketing issue, the Marketing News team wanted to save you the airfare by delivering stories of inspirational marketing campaigns from far-flung locations to you. This is a quick read, easily digested in one sitting—on a domestic flight, say—but it offers plenty of brainstorming fodder for your brand’s next move.

Many of the campaigns that piqued our interest—and that we hope pique yours—were launched by the tourism and hospitality industry. Others pertain to public service and health. All are compelling because they authentically connect messages with causes, and brands with users, and because they provide a glimpse of the cultures to which they’re targeted. Join us as we circle the globe with eight quick stops on our itinerary.


​​A Marketable Moniker

Iceland targets global travelers with the help of a few friendly Guðmundurs

As with a country’s most popular dishes or quirky forms of entertainment, common names can convey local flavor—some more so than others. Where the U.S. has John or Mike or Joe (or Jackson, Jacob and Liam, of late) Iceland has Guðmundur—and more than 4,000 of them, out of the country’s total population of 329,000. Those thousands of Icelanders named Guðmundur, the male version, or Guðmunda, the female version, recently were tapped to help promote the country to adventurous globetrotters in search of their next destination. 

On April 28, Promote Iceland, the Reykjavík-based national tourism organization, launched “Ask Guðmundur,” a social media campaign to highlight the diversity of year-round experiences across the country. “Ask Guðmundur” is billed as “the world’s first human search engine,” and through the fall, people can submit questions on Promote Iceland’s social media channels using the hashtag #AskGuðmundur. A volunteer (one from each of Iceland’s seven regions) named Guðmundur or Guðmunda answers questions via online videos or through written responses on Twitter and Facebook. Videos include one portly Guðmundur whipping off his shirt and happily jumping into a hot spring and a Guðmunda laughing as she narrowly avoids being attacked by a flock of birds in Reykjavík’s town square. 

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Author Bio:

 
Christine Birkner, Molly Soat and Erin Golden
Christine Birkner is the senior staff writer for Marketing News and Marketing News Exclusives. E-mail her at cbirkner@ama.org.

Molly Soat is a staff writer for Marketing News and Marketing News Exclusives. E-mail her at msoat@ama.org.

Erin Golden is a freelance writer based in Omaha, Neb.

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