December 2, 2020. Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is unable to welcome tourists this Christmas season - same as most beloved tourist destinations of the world. However, the city is sending a message to tourists that they are welcome anytime, whenever they are able to travel again, by launching a new sequel to its tourism campaign series, entitled "Christmas in Vilnius: Amazing Whenever You'll Be Able to Come."
The campaign's previous chapter, entitled "Vilnius: Amazing Wherever You Think It Is,” was recognized as the Best Communications Strategy at “City, Nation, Place Awards 2020" in November. The campaign used the city’s obscurity as a tool to draw more tourists. It implemented fantasy-like images of the supposed Vilnius location: underwater, on a strange Moon-like surface or hanging on a cliff floating in the air.
The current campaign reflects upon the changed global situation, travel restrictions and different Christmas that will see most people celebrating quietly at home and avoiding travel. It conveys a message that Vilnius is and will be welcoming tourists and visitors at any time, whenever it's safe to travel.
“While getting ready for Christmas, we can't help but think about the tourists, who will be dearly missed this year," said Inga Romanovskienė, director of Go Vilnius, the official tourism and business development agency of Vilnius, which is behind the campaign. "We are sending a message that Christmas-y Vilnius will be waiting for you whenever you are able to come. We also believe that some humour and fantasy, added to patience and responsibility, can help us overcome this challenging period."
The campaign sequel has a fantasy-like futuristic visual that imagines what Vilnius Christmas would look like in the future, when centuries-old city's architecture witnesses flying cars and perhaps a technological Christmas Tree.
“We approached the current travel situation in the same way we dealt with the problem of Vilnius not being a well-known city in the initial phase of the campaign: with humour. Some people think that this situation will last for a long time. So, why not joke with it and say that Christmas in Vilnius is amazing, no matter when you’ll be able to come? It can be next year, in two years, in ten years… or when flying cars and spaceships will be an everyday thing, - said Antonio Bechtle, Creative Director & Partner at Bechtle & Milzarajs ad agency that was in charge of the first campaign "Vilnius: Amazing Wherever You Think It Is". “We also chose to use the same illustration style of our primary campaign, transporting Vilnius to a distant future, but keeping it as amazing as it is now.”
More information about the campaign can be found on this page, which also describes the Vilnius Christmas highlights of 2020 - such as the famous Vilnius Christmas Tree that keeps getting the award for "the most beautiful Christmas tree in Europe" or hot air balloons that still fly over the city in the winter, with burners keeping the passengers warm while they are enjoying the snow-covered city roofs.