Is Iceland the Hottest Spot on Earth for Spring Break?

Unofficial campaign with tongue firmly in cheek

Spring Break Iceland '23 bids Americans to explore the unadulterated beauty of the Nordic island—and party hearty, within reason—in jokey ads that launched this week.

This is an unofficial campaign, not a sanctioned tourism effort. Freelancers Sara Becker and Peter Megler developed the work, including a :60, paid social on Instagram, print, and a billboard in Grand Forks, N.D., that's generated some media buzz. (The town ranks as the coldest in the U.S., so why not warm up in Iceland, right?)

The project website shows a naked man running in a field alongside horses, and a bikini-clad woman wading in one of Iceland's famous thermal pools—with a Viking nearby.

Art director Christian Laniosz appears in the video as national faux-hero Grettir Saga. Alex May provides the character's voice, hyping attractions like the Northern Lights, fermented shark and majestic volcanoes.

The soundtrack? "Gangster's Paradise," of course (an instrumental version). "It just felt so great and unexpected against all the raw gangster-like, natural wildness of Iceland and perfectly matched our tone," Megler says.

The idea began with a photo Becker posted on her Instagram account of an ice-studded beach and the caption: "Bikini Optional." A DM from friend and colleague Megler jokingly referenced Spring breakers in Iceland, and, after some brainstorming, the offbeat campaign was born. 

Spring Break Iceland ’23 set up a petition requesting a direct flight from North Dakota to Iceland, completely non-existent at the moment, despite the state's deep Icelandic pride, with settlers dating back to the 1800s. The creative team is "just waiting on Icelandair or any reputable airline to call us back." (The one they name-checked is booked at the moment with its global "Easy to Stop, Hard to Leave" ads.)

One goal is "to create a little spring break mischief, but also to put an unlikely destination like Iceland into the same conversation with heavyweights like Miami or Cancun," says Megler. "It sounds crazy, but it actually worked. We even had people on Reddit Miami saying they want to go next year."

The creative team, which also includes designer Quinn Lindgren, recently wrapped social videos featuring interviews with locals, spring breakers and one lucky North Dakotan about the Iceland scene.

Various Icelandic entities have generated notable work in recent years. Examples include the mega-viral Mark Zuckerberg lampoon, this dalliance with sex toys and a memorable space shot.

Shahnaz Mahmud
Shahnaz Mahmud is a contributing writer to Muse by Clio.

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