Lithuania’s Vilnius Uses Risqué Humour To Promote Tourism

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Humour in advertising is a tricky thing, especially when sex is involved.

Tourism chiefs in Lithuania's capital of Vilnius are earning both criticism and praise for a new advertising campaign launched just before the Pope makes a visit to the city next month.

Posters now appearing in London and Berlin feature a woman lying on a bed sheet printed with a map of Europe, with her hand gripping Lithuania. The text above her reads: "Vilnius, the G-spot of Europe. Nobody knows where it is, but when you find it, it's amazing." (OJ gossip columnist Ivanna Gabbalot thinks that’s pretty funny, but then, she would.)

Catholic priests in Lithuania are concerned that the ad uses women's sexuality for advertising, and they say it gives the wrong impression of Vilnius, a mainly Catholic city.

The small nation’s government had asked the city's tourism chiefs to postpone the launch of the campaign until after the papal visit in September.But Inga Romanovskiene, the manager of the Go Vilnius tourism agency, said the aim of the campaign is to attract new visitors to the historic city.

'When it comes to attracting the modern tourist we're dealing with a very high level of competition with other European cities and countries investing heavily in destination marketing.'The young creatives who came up with 'Vilnius; the G-spot of Europe' presented an extremely engaging idea to drive interest in the city.”

The campaign concept was created by Lithuanian advertising students. One of the creators, Jurgis Ramanauskas, said: 

"Few people know where Vilnius really is, but when they arrive they fall in love with the city.This insight came from our conversations with international visitors, and we formulated the idea that Vilnius is synonymous with the G-spot theory -- nobody knows where it is, but, when it is discovered, everyone is very pleased!"

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