Capturing the attention of travelers in modern tourism promotion is a challenge that requires a focus on authenticity and genuine experiences. Departing from the conventional clichés and scripted adverts, a refreshing and innovative approach has emerged in the form of the series "Urlaubsgefühl" (Holiday Feeling). Developed by Wagrain-Kleinarl Tourismus in collaboration with Zweihund, this groundbreaking series aims to present the Wagrain-Kleinarl regions (Austria) in their unfiltered essence.
"Making of Holiday Feelings" focuses on real people and direct encounters, capturing the essence of genuine experiences shared by locals and visitors alike. These videos aim to transport viewers to the Wagrain-Kleinarl holiday region through the lens of authenticity and realism, offering a "virtual mini-break" that is as close to reality as it gets.
One of the defining features of this series is its change of perspective. Instead of portraying the region from an outsider's viewpoint, the videos immerse the audience in the heart of the destination, seen through the eyes of the locals. By doing so, a deep sense of connection is fostered, uncovering shared values, moods, and experiences that transcend cultural boundaries. As a result, a personal relationship between the viewer and the region develops.
In this case study, we will delve into the creative process behind the series, which offers a fresh and inspiring perspective on the Wagrain-Kleinarl holiday region.
Watch now - Making of Holiday Feeling
From Idea To Reality – The Creative Process
The world of tourism advertising is very conservative, even really dusty: beautiful scenery, beautiful weather - in summer, the hiking family or bike family, in winter, always two skiers on a crowd-free, freshly groomed slope. Apparently, the courage is missing to drop the fake make-up and give value to authenticity. For the viewer, the ever-same mountain landscape in the ads remains interchangeable: Canada, Kazakhstan, or Carinthia all look the same.
The vacationer spends only a fraction of his vacation on the slopes or on the hiking trail: lift tickets, ski rental, shopping, pharmacy, ski bus, hiking bus, lift attendant, snowcat driver, eating, drinking, living, etc. All this is completely disregarded in the ads. However, it is precisely these moments that make a lasting impact on the tourist experience. That's why we decided to elevate everyday encounters onto a cinematographic stage and give them the starring role.
The Goals and Strategies
Our goals were: Break the conventions and taboos of tourism advertising. To suck the viewer into the destination and give him the feeling of being on vacation here with us in the destination for the limited duration of the film.
Bad weather, night, odd places like the supermarket, critical tourism statements - we wanted to get in front of the camera as many moments as possible that you REALLY, ACTUALLY experience on vacation.
No manipulative off-speaker, no text inserts of advertising slogans, no scripted text for the protagonist, no posing. 90 to 120 seconds of immediate, live, frontal, intimate encounters without distractions.
The most challenging thing was to get people who had never before been to a film set acting perfectly spontaneously and naturally in front of the camera. Speaking freely, without feeling constrained, and stating what they were thinking at the moment.
The key to success was the approach taken by the film crew, who spent a lot of time with each of the protagonists prior to the shoot, establishing a very close and personal relationship of trust. On the day of the shoot, the protagonists then acted completely freely and at ease on the set.
In total, the series - all films included - has had 2 million views until April 2023. Considering a tourism campaign on Youtube, one can truly speak of tremendous success, particularly since we are a small destination whose Youtube channel has barely attracted any attention so far. The Silver Dolphin and Austrian State Prize for Business Film awards attest to the quality of the films as well.
The international acclaim also spurred the reception of the films in the destination and thus, the goal of setting an impactful impulse towards a sustainable and environmental tomorrow has also been achieved.
"In tourism marketing, videos give us the chance to create a very direct and genuine encounter - no matter to whom, or when and where in the world - between the destination and the audience. Something like a few moments of experience on vacation. It's not about staging or showcasing, it's about dramatizing authenticity.” W. Wild, CMO Wagrain-Kleinarl Tourism