Denmark Hijacks Mona Lisa

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Denmark Hijacks Mona Lisa

Denmark hijacks Mona Lisa’s fame with offbeat AI campaign. A new activation campaign from the tourism organization VisitDenmark aims to put the “Land of Hygge” on the map as an antidote to bucket list tourism. Using artificial intelligence, the Mona Lisa, the Statue of Liberty and other iconic tourist attractions come to life with a simple message: Don’t come to me – visit Denmark instead. Apart from the cheeky approach, the campaign stands out by being completely written by artificial intelligence.

“Imagine that you are Mona Lisa. Write a speech on why people should visit Denmark instead of standing in line to see you.” This was the prompt given to artificial intelligence (AI) to create the script of one of a series of campaign videos. In this series, tourist attractions all over the world turn against themselves and recommend visiting Denmark rather than standing in line at the Louvre or seeing the Statue of Liberty in a sea of selfie sticks.

Denmark Hijacks Mona Lisa
Tourist attractions all over the world turn against themselves and recommend visiting Denmark rather than standing in line at the Louvre or seeing the Statue of Liberty in a sea of selfie sticks.

The Mona Lisa, Vincent Van Gogh’s 1887 self-portrait and the Statue of Liberty are undeniably massive draws for tourists visiting Paris, Chicago and New York.

Related: Art and Culture in Denmark

For decades, people have marveled at Mona Lisa’s mysterious smile – but have you ever wondered what she would say if given the chance to speak? “While I appreciate the attention, let’s be honest. Standing in line for hours just to see me is not exactly the most exciting way to spend your holiday,” she says.

 

When travelers seek more authentic experiences, Denmark emphasizes that a visit to the country is not about ticking off the most famous sights, but rather stumbling upon the many small and large gems that hide around every corner of the small Scandinavian country.

Denmark Hijacks Mona Lisa
“Having iconic attractions from popular tourist destinations turn on themselves is a good way to highlight the absurdity of doing and seeing the same things as everyone else,” says Louis Pilmark, Creative Director at Danish advertisement agency Brandhouse/Subsero.

Executing on the brief ‘Don’t be a tourist – be an Explorist,’ VisitDenmark positions Denmark as the antidote to bucket list tourism. “Having iconic attractions from popular tourist destinations turn on themselves is a good way to highlight the absurdity of doing and seeing the same things as everyone else. Who better to explain it than the paintings and statues that see millions of tourists every year,” says Louis Pilmark, Creative Director at Danish advertisement agency Brandhouse/Subsero.

While new techniques such as “deepfake” and “motion synthesis” have been used to bring images to life over the past couple of years, the addition of a script generated entirely by AI makes it one of the first campaigns to combine the two technologies. Flemming Bruhn, Marketing Director from VisitDenmark explains: “The scripts are 100% generated by AI – we haven’t written a single word – we’ve only removed sentences that were too long or simply weren’t right. While it felt somewhat risky to put the entire campaign in the hands of artificial intelligence, we are excited to be at the forefront of the travel industry, using cutting-edge technology to bring our creative visions and messages to life.”

Denmark Hijacks Mona Lisa
From the Happiness Museum: Mona Lisa smiles differently in the left and right side.

Related: Fairytale Castles in Denmark

A recent UK, Germany, and Sweden study revealed that overcrowded tourist sites and landmarks are among the top two reasons for holiday disappointment (54 percent). Today’s travelers are looking to find hidden gems and seek off-the-beaten-path experiences rather than ticking off a long list of mainstream attractions, according to a survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of VisitDenmark. “From a marketing perspective, the current trends only make Denmark more relevant as a vacation spot,” says Kathrine Lind Gustavussen. “We are obviously always advocates for Denmark. But as a country that doesn’t have one main attraction, but rather an abundance of smaller, unique experiences in everything from nature to culture, Denmark fits the wish for ‘the road less traveled’ perfectly, and we welcome ‘Explorists’ to the land of everyday wonder.”

Denmark Hijacks Mona Lisa
A recent UK, Germany, and Sweden study revealed that overcrowded tourist sites and landmarks are among the top two reasons for holiday disappointment (54 percent).

“From a marketing perspective, current trends make Denmark more relevant as a holiday destination,” says Flemming Bruhn. “We are obviously always advocates for Denmark. But as a country that does not have one main attraction, but rather an abundance of smaller, unique experiences in everything from nature to culture, Denmark perfectly fits the desire for ‘the road less travelled’ and we welcome ‘Explorers’ to the country with the many everyday wonder.”

Denmark Hijacks Mona Lisa, based on a press release from Visit Denmark

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Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.

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