Austria strengthens ties
by Alexander V. Kammel on 04 January 2021

Waking up on time, having breakfast, getting ready for work, taking the kids to school, facing traffic to get to the office, finding a place to park, finding out that you have almost a hundred new emails to read, and the day just started. Did you get tired just with this description? Can you recognize yourself in some of these situations?

Well, everyday life can be quite challenging and stressful for most people. And a family moment in the Austrian Alps has everything to be a time to recharge energies and strengthen ties. This is the message that the promotional video “Austria strengthens ties”, from the Austrian National Tourist Office, wants to share.

When we think of the Austrian Alps, images of snow-capped mountains and winter sports come to mind. Austria is indeed a paradise for ski lovers, but the destination offers much more than that at different times of the year.

“Austria strengthens ties” appeals to the viewer's need and desire to escape from their routine and uses the video as a powerful tool for communicating destination attributes through emotions and feelings.

The storytelling was crucial to creating a persuasive promotional video, which has a positive impact on viewers. “When people make a holiday decision they are where much influenced by a cognitive and an affective component. There is a common agreement in marketing literature stating that the latter is much more relevant for the customer. As the affective component focuses on individuals’ emotions it is indispensable to tell an emotional story in video marketing. This is especially true for the travel industry because consumers are always faced with uncertainty when purchasing a service i.e. a holiday. Hence only storytelling can trigger a target group’s emotion and inspire them to visit a particular destination”, said Marie Walcher, Campaign Manager of the Austrian National Tourist Office.

The success of “Austria strengthens ties” is reflected in different international awards it has received at the Grand Prix CIFFT Circuit 2020, in tourism film festivals as The Golden City Gate ITB, Terres Travel Festival, Istanbul Tourism Film Festival, and Zagreb TourFilm Festival. The video also achieved 3rd place as the World’s Best Tourism Film promoting a Country.

To find out more about the purpose of “Austria strengthens ties”, read the entire interview with Bernadette-Marie Walcher, Campaign Manager of the Austrian National Tourist Office, and the film director Johannes Grebert, from West4Media Filmproduktions GmbH.

Watch now “Austria strengthens ties”

The Creative Process behind “Austria strengthens ties”

Interview with Bernadette-Marie Walcher, Campaign Manager of the Austrian National Tourist Office

  1.  What challenges did you intend to overcome with the video “Austria strengthens ties”?

As everyday life can be challenging and stressful e.g. due to a job people especially families do not get a chance to spend a lot of time together. Their busy schedule as well as the fast-moving society make them miss each other in daily life. Hence families and individuals seek for quiet times where they can escape from daily life simply enjoying being a family.

During COVID-19 pandemic the situation changed because suddenly many families were actually stuck with each other for weeks. However, it must be stated that this time although spending it together turned out to be very tough and sometimes even more stressful than life before the corona crisis. Therefore, one can argue that this deep desire that family members have to spend time with each other is even stronger nowadays.

In this video, we intend to present an opportunity how to overcome this challenge of not having enough time for our loved ones.  Due to the pandemic, we also decided to rename the original film title “Austrian ties” and call it “Holidays in Austria. Something to look forward to”. We made that decision last summer (even though the video had already been running for a couple of month by then) because we wanted to make a statement for our target audiences that reminds them that there this a life after the crisis and we believe that in difficult times it can be helpful to have something to look forward to.

  1. What is the purpose of the video?

The purpose of this video is to show that leaving daily routine behind sometimes requires to actually spend some time away from home. This could possibly mean going on a holiday as a family which enables us to focus on each other and appreciate spending time with each other without having to worry about being prepared for our next appointment. During a holiday we are allowed to follow our own schedule according to our own needs for a change. There are activities you can do as a whole family but also some activities that you can do to strengthen your relationship with your partner or sibling, son, daughter etc.

  1. Who is your target audience?

At the Austrian National Tourism Board, we work with Sinus milieus to investigate guest behavior. Our target audience for this campaign is called EPMs established post materialists and our target market is Germany. German parents are known to be diligent, hardworking and very ambitious in their professional career. They also love their children very much and always want to make sure to take great care of them. However, in daily life chances to actually spend them with their children tend to be rare which makes them miss each other sometimes. For this reason, they look for opportunities to spend quality time as a family.

  1. What is the key message of “Austria strengthens ties”?

The key message of this campaign is that Austria is a place where you can come to spend quality time with your family leaving your everyday challenges behind and focus on your family and to grow as a family or simply said feel home away from home.

  1. What emotion are you trying to evoke?

We try to evoke emotions of happiness, confidence and a sense of belonging stating that our family is always something wonderful that we can hold on to.

  1. What specific visuals should be captured by the viewer?

We want our viewers to capture those visuals which portray happy moments together as a couple, as siblings or as a family e.g. parents enjoying time together over breakfast, children spending time together, mother and son spending time together etc.

  1. Is your video part of a campaign? If yes, can you please describe?

The video is part of our winter campaign for the German market. The aim of this campaign is very similar to the aim of our video. We want to show our audience that Austria is a place where they can spend a wonderful time as a family leaving their daily routine behind and to focus on growing as a family.

Interview with Johannes Grebert, director of the “Austria strengthens ties”, produced by West4Media Filmproduktions GmbH

  1. How was the production process of “Austria strengthens ties”?

The films are based on quite exact story concepts of the agency Österreich Werbung. The production company West4Media and I as the director developed a film and production concept, searched for the locations, cast and so on. Karuan Marouf composed the music. Tanja Häring is responsible for the beautiful pictures. Kai Kniepkamp edited, Lee Niederkofler of ViennaFX did the color correction and Daniel Griese of Schieffer&Schieffer the sound design. These are people I love to work with. And I think the results prove me right.

  1. What's the purpose of the video?

 As a director my goal was to create videos that have an emotional impact on the audience and connect with the family we show in the short time we have to tell little stories and, together with the dop Tanja Häring, produce pictures which present the landscapes of the Austrian Alps as a beautiful place to be.

  1. What were the main challenges during the film production?

As always, the challenges of filming are time and money. And, of course, in the Alps you have to have a bit lucky with the weather. Thanks to the perfect organization by West4Media we had no bigger problems during the production process.

  1. Video is a powerful tool to promote tourism destinations. Technically speaking, what is a good tourism video?

First of all, a good film to promote tourism destinations gives the viewer in a short time a deep emotion, a nostalgia towards memorable moments you can only experience on a travel. And then you connect these emotions with especially the destination you want to promote. You show the landscapes, the culture, the people in the most beautiful way you can. 

  1. What were the goals for Austria strengthens ties.? In your opinion, did you reach them?

The goals for the campaign were to connect winter holidays in the Austrian Alps with a warm family feeling, to show that when the members of a family take time for each other they get to know each other again and through common experiences bond again. My personal goal as a director was to show all this in beautiful crisp light pictures that give a taste of the snow and to tell the little stories without spoken words in a simple but emotional way.  I think in the films we show this in a very soulful way and we show the family winter experience in the Austrian Alps through very beautiful pictures and simple storytelling.

  1. What would you say is the key to good storytelling to promote the assets and attractions of a tourism destination using Video?

I believe that promotion as movies have to be a bit bigger than life. It’s not enough only to show what you can do at the destinations. With strong music and pictures, you transport emotions and nostalgia. You create identification with the protagonist and the longing to experience yourself what you see in the film. 

  1. What do you think there is the video's role in this current situation?

A beautiful tourism film connects us with the world in a moment we have to stay at home. It gives us hope, something we can look for in the future. Soon we will be able to experience the wonderful lust of traveling, again. We will be able to see, to hear, to feel, to run, to dive into the world away from our daily life.


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