Sometimes a national tourism office can't compete with the marketing smarts of the private sector, as a campaign from Candian brewery Molson proves.
In the past week, more than 720,000 people have viewed a YouTube clip promoting Canada's appeal. Molson scattered a bunch of locked refrigerators containing free beer in public spaces around Europe, and then videotaped as locals tried to open them.
The secret to unlocking the fridges was to find someone with a Canadian passport.
The video is part of a broader #IAMCANADIAN campaign that is bringing collateral benefit to Tourism Canada.
Molson is an international conglomerate. But its flagship brand has a deep history in Canada, claiming to be the second oldest company in Canada after the Hudson's Bay Company.
Admittedly, spending taxpayer money on buying foreigners free beer isn't a great idea for most national tourism DMOs. But that's just a minor detail. (You could use kids being cute instead.)
The larger question is: Why aren't more DMOs able to piggyback on the marketing efforts of private brands with popular national brands?