Top 5 Travel Advertisements of 2013

As an advertising nerd, I admire well thought out and perfectly executed advertising and marketing campaigns.  Ads with creative slogans, deep and thought provocative messages and the ability to inspire viewers to action truly make me smile.  Here’s a list of my favorite travel industry advertisements from this year.

The Most Inspiring

A lot of people gave United Airlines flack this year because of their 2013 campaign.  Those who complained about the ad campaign felt that using “Rhapsody in Blue” was cheesy as it is a song that is often recycled in many ads and other mediums.  I say nay!  “Rhapsody in Blue” is a piece that has class and is familiar, making it almost like a classic.  I also find that the comparison of an orchestra to the experience of flying with United is brilliant.  Trust that your trip will be well orchestrated, in tune and perfectly synced when you fly with United.

On a personal note, I like this advertisement because I play the violin and “Rhapsody in Blue” is one of my favorite compositions of all time… so yea, I’m a sucker for this year’s United campaign.


The Most Thought Provocative

British Airways came out with a 1 minute 30 second video using almost nothing but realistic images juxtaposed to dreamlike sequences.  Not until the last 20 seconds of the video do we get a very poetic message of “Today. Tomorrow.”  There are tons of conclusions that we can draw from this ad and lots of symbolism (like the image of lines in the palm of a hand being compared to an aerial view of canyons – almost as if to say “have the world in the palm of your hand”), but overall we can all agree that British Airways uses science and technological innovations in every detail of their business, giving us the impression of a very futurist today.


The Funniest

Let me bring you to my hometown for just a hot second.  This year, the Philadelphia Tourism Board came out with a series of commercials targeted towards… an alternative audience.  Needless to say, Philadelphia has a large and healthy gay community and I am proud that there is a large enough market to justify an entire advertising campaign.  Miss Richfield’s Selfie Tour of Philadelphia combines Philly culture with the infamous selfie.  It’ll make you laugh and want to come take selfies in Philly.

Most Creative

Lufthansa thought outside of the box with their “planking commercial”.  Kind of ripping off the Instagram fad of “planking” they advertise their new business class seats that allow passengers to lay down.  Though it introduces their new seating arrangements, Lufthansa also inspires us to travel with a montage of people planking in destinations around the world.


Social Media Tycoon

UGH!  Total ad-gasm!  This wasn’t even supposed to be a commercial!  It was merely a video used to give passengers pre-flight information about the plane’s safety features, but once this hit YouTube it became an instant viral sensation.  Now with over 8 million views, I award Virgin America’s Safety Dance with the title of Social Media Tycoon.  Not only is this video well choreographed, it is memorable, funny and informative.  Basically it is everything that a commercial or advertisement should be.

Virgin Airways used ‘humor’ — It was super effective!


I’d love to hear what you think!  What do you think these advertisements achieved?  Did they mean something to you?

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