Did Denmark Make the Most 'Zen' Tourism Campaign Ever?

Learn to let the little things go

Visit Denmark brings wordplay and notions of zen to the fore, with messaging plays on the fact that 47 percent of Danes rock last names like "Han-sen, Ander-sen and Erik-sen."

According to lighthearted commercials and billboards, that might help explain why the Nordic nation consistently ranks among the least stressful and happiest places on Earth.

VisitDenmark | The Danish Zen

"The Danish Zen is not a mindset achieved through strict practice or deep meditation. On the contrary, it is built on an extremely laid back approach to life," says Stefan Sahl, senior copywriter at agency &Co, which developed the initiative. "You master the art of saying 'Pyt,' letting things pass and instead focusing on what truly matters."

Ads target nearby markets like Germany, the Netherlands and Norway. (Or, denizens of the latter can take an AI-powered "Mystery Trip" to who knows where. What could possibly go wrong?)

As for Denmark, well, the creative path that feels culturally attuned, addressing our desire for a respite from anxiety and the busy world. So, it's offering something in high demand, in a way that feels novel and doesn't lean to hard into tired travel tropes.

"When you see the world with slightly different eyes you open yourself up to experiences you might otherwise overlook. That's the spirit of the Danish zen." says Jeppe Hansen, senior art director at &Co. (Han-sen. Wow, that's truth in advertising!)

"But most importantly, our zen is a way of being together, and there is no better way to experience it than with us Danes. Therefore, we want to invite everyone to visit Denmark and explore the Danish Zen," he says.

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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