Inspiration and activation marketing


Developed in record time (under four months), the Vienna City Card Experience Edition was launched on August 17, 2020. Targeting local residents and frequent visitors, it is a way to help them explore the city, while also driving footfall and generating revenue at locations where revenues are down due to the lack of tourism. The card gives holders access to more than 160 out-of-the-ordinary experiences, and 20% off at 30 hospitality providers in the city as many times as they want for a whole year. Many of the experiences are only open to cardholders, with discounts on additional experiences, tours and workshops also available.

Because it functions as a digital add-on in the Vienna Tourist Board’s new, free ivie city guide app, users always have their Vienna City Card Experience Edition to hand on their smartphones. DocLX is the distribution partner.


In partnership with Argentinian director Fernando Livschitz, the Vienna Tourist Board produced its highly moving video Vienna is like…, which has garnered more than 12.5 million views online so far. In sum, the time spent watching the video amounts to 24 years! Its score was composed by students from the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. The video won a number of awards, including first place in the Cultural Tourism category at the ART&TUR International Tourism Film Festival in Portugal, second place in Google’s YouTube Ads Leaderboard for Austria in the second quarter of 2020, as well as two silvers atiab webAds, Austria’s leading digital economy awards.

In December, users of the Vienna State Opera streaming service were treated to the award-winning Vienna is like… video immediately before the performances began.


2020 marked the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth. Vienna was at the center of his creative life, and hosted the premieres of his works. In his honor, the Vienna Tourist Board promoted the anniversary worldwide as “Vienna 2020. Capital of Music” throughout 2019. The ongoing marketing campaigns were suspended in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a collaboration with the Vienna State Opera specifically targeting music lovers, the Vienna Tourist Board used videos shown directly before the live streams to make viewers yearn to travel to Vienna again as soon as possible. During the first worldwide lockdown, the Vienna State Opera made its streaming service available free of charge, reaching millions in the process. The Vienna Tourist Board contributed videos featuring interviews with famous faces from the music industry who identified as Viennese by choice, including Billy Joel, Yuja Wang and Valentina Nafornitsa, from a series produced for the Capital of Music theme year.

Created by seite zwei based on a brief issued by the Vienna Tourist Board, the campaign won a bronze Venus in the Branding and Brand Experience category of Austria’s coveted creative CCA Awards.


The June 1 launch of the Around the World in Vienna campaign online was followed by out-of-home ads in Austria and Germany and a purely digital campaign in Switzerland from June 15. It gave a lift to city travelers who were longing for cultural experiences and special encounters after a long period of isolation by giving them the chance to explore the world within the restricted options available. The campaign delivered a humorous take on how to get from one country to the next in a matter of minutes – without leaving Vienna: it takes less than 15 minutes to get from Venice (Dogenhof) to Athens (Theseus Temple in the Volksgarten), and just half an hour to travel from France (La Mercerie bistro on Servitengasse) to the tropics (Palm House in the grounds of Schönbrunn Palace).

Japan (Vienna Peace Pagoda) to Russia (St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox cathedral) is possible in only 35 minutes, while the oriental architecture of the Zacherlfabrik factory in the nineteenth district provided another highly tempting destination.


In September, the Vienna Tourist Board launched a campaign in Germany and Switzerland that invited people to make the best of what was left of 2020 on a trip to Vienna. The idea was that special packages offered by the companies in the tourism sector would show that “happy ever after” moments were still possible in difficult times. But little went to plan during the pandemic. Short-notice travel warnings and quarantine restrictions call for incredibly flexible communications – which posed a particular challenge for those channels with longer lead times, such as outdoor advertising. But solutions had been drawn up to cover every pandemic scenario. And on September 11 they proved necessary when Switzerland issued a travel warning for Vienna, with Germany following suit on September 16. Within just 24 hours Plan B was up and running – a direct, unadorned indication that summed up the current situation and mood among the target audience to a T: “Life’s no picnic” and “It’s going to take a bit longer.” Printed posters were plastered with correction stickers and digital ads were immediately switched out.

The Happy Ever After in Vienna landing page was adapted and the focus shifted from Viennese Originals, bookable hotel, cultural, culinary and stage offerings to Austria and Vienna (staycation).


The domestic Viennese Winter Wonderland campaign was originally intended to go nationwide in November in partnership with Austrian Federal Railways in a series of online, print and out-of-home ads. But the progression of the pandemic stopped the campaign in its tracks.


At the turn of 2020/2021, Vienna had a special gift up its sleeve for music fans all over the world: the Vienna Tourist Board used the exposure that comes with the New Year’s Day Concert by the Vienna Philharmonic – the best-known of all the capital’s musical offerings – to encourage people in a social media campaign to come to the capital again as soon as they are permitted to do so. Under the hashtag #FromViennaWithLove, the campaign played out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube in 18 countries with the best potential to provide visitors to Vienna in the future. In total, the campaign generated 18.5 million contacts.  There was a special something for fans of Vienna elsewhere in Austria before Christmas 2020: on the last weekend of Advent, customers of a well-known food delivery service in Graz, Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Vienna were treated to a little gift from the nation’s capital.

With the city’s Christmas markets unable to open, the Vienna Tourist Board decided to give away bottles of 2020 Distance Christkindlmarkt mulled wine with orders placed on www.mjam.net to give customers a taste of the markets to enjoy at home.


The Vienna Tourist Board devoted its online showroom at the 2020 Art Basel Miami Beach to the founding father of psychoanalysis and the Sigmund Freud Museum. Dubbed “OVR: Miami Beach” this year, America’s leading art fair – which could not take place live due to the pandemic – was staged online from December 2-6. Works from the contemporary art collection at the Sigmund Freud Museum, including pieces by Franz West, Heimo Zobernig and Susan Hiller, were displayed online for the duration of the event.

Hosted as part of the online Vienna Showcase series, an online tour of the Sigmund Freud Museum and a virtual live discussion titled Art, Psychoanalysis and Public Health gave a knowledgeable and free-spending audience an insight into Vienna’s art gems and cultural significance.