Promote Iceland has appointed M&C Saatchi Group to reignite tourism to the country following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agency has been hired by the client to restore visitor numbers in the first major global tourism brief to be awarded since the virus emerged in January.
Many are looking to see how tourism rebounds in the country as Iceland is one of the first countries to openly embrace foreign visitors. After internally encouraging residents to travel over the past few weeks, leaders are now embarking on a gradual reopening to outsiders. The country is welcoming visitors who, from June 15th, can choose between two weeks of quarantine or a Covid-19 test. They will also be asked to download a track and trace app.
The incumbent agencies were Iceland-based Íslenska ad agency and The Brooklyn Brothers (UK).
M&C Saatchi’s winning approach focused on how Iceland’s natural beauty, open space and warm characters offer “personal sustainability,” as well as how the country solidifies itself as a global leader in environmentalism.
The $12 million brief includes PR, social, experiential and advertising and extends to more than 20 countries with a priority given to key markets US, UK and Germany. The campaign will be rolled out in early summer, according to Promote Iceland.
The account will be overseen by SS+K, M&C Saatchi’s New York-based creative agency, and partner Lenny Stern. They will be joined with an integrated team involving M&C Saatchi teams around the world.
"Our agency helps brands navigate moments of change, and it is hard to imagine a more monumental shift than what's happening in global tourism right now,” says Stern. “Iceland is an exciting partner for us because they are so well positioned to lead in this moment-- they are safe, they are first, and their natural beauty and people have no peers. Iceland is what we need after what we've been through."