Iceland opens up a new frontier of tourism with an orbital billboard
The nation of Iceland has swapped open space for outer space with high-altitude billboard advertising.
Sent skyward using an electronic tablet attached to a weather balloon with a GoPro, the campaign positions the remote island destination as a world in itself by tapping into resurgent interest in what lies beyond Earth.
The ad compares the desolate landscapes of the sparsely-populated Arctic isle to those of Mars.
Conceived by M&C Saatchi, the out-of-this-world campaign follows research suggesting that 56% of the US population believes we should invest in our homeworld before venturing off to the stars – and with a lower carbon footprint to boot.
Among the attractions to catch the eye of adventurous tourists are red hills, volcanoes, geysers and glacial lagoons, all of which can be enjoyed without the need for a spacesuit.
Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir, head of Visit Iceland, said: “Our message is simple: you don’t need to leave Earth to have an experience that is out of this world. There are otherworldly adventures to be found right here in Iceland, where you can enjoy the same lunar landscapes that Nasa astronauts used as a training ground before the inaugural spacewalk.
“By targeting this specific audience and launching a billboard into space, we hope to encourage people to consider the big picture and see that the real value in travel is in the interactions you create with other people, and that, you know, unlimited oxygen supplies should factor into your decision.”
In a bid to cut through the competitive tourism space, Iceland previously employed a real-life workhorse to manage the emails of visiting holidaymakers.