Iceland Hopes to Combat Eruption with Eruption of Tourism

You may recall Iceland’s tourism industry taking quite a beating recently due to the eruption of Mt. Eyjafjallajokull (especially if you happened to be flying to or from Europe at the time, or sprained your tongue trying to pronounce it). Well, the nation is collectively fighting to change its perception as an area devastated by a natural disaster in order to bring tourists back. MediaBistro reveals this intriguing campaign, highlighted by a promotional dance video. (Said video may be NSFW, depending on how your company feels about the bare bottom of a gentleman, which makes its way into the piece… inexplicably.)

Iceland launched what may be the most homogeneous brand advocacy campaign in the modern era last week. All 320,000 citizens were asked to get online for one hour, at the same time, to combat misconceptions about the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull. The volcano brought air travel in Europe to a standstill in April.

Inspired by Iceland centers around a catchy music video of "Jungle Drum" by Iceland’s own Emiliana Torrini. It features the stereotypically beautiful, sporty residents (with some nudity) against a backdrop of lava fields, glaciers, geysers and the massive outdoor Blue Lagoon spa.

And it wasn’t just online. Both major phone companies gave away free oversees calls to get citizens talking about the campaign. The very active Facebook page includes links back to a number of live webcams at top tourist sites, and a growing cache of user-generated content with nearly 25,000 fans.

Hopefully the country will recoup some of the 15% decline in tourism, one of its top industries.