The story behind Iceland's hardest karaoke song in the world

Entered by Inspired by Iceland. Best Use of Social Media, Highly Commended, 2018. 

The team at Promote Iceland needed to inspire their audience to travel further within Iceland – beyond the main tourist sites – and to educate visitors about how to travel responsibly as tourists in Iceland. They also needed to create engagement with an over-targeted audience. The target group “The Fun-loving Globetrotter” are active travellers – primarily based in Europe and North America -  seeking out new and exciting destinations, who want to connect to the local culture and are respectful of nature and the environment. They are one of the most over-targeted audiences on the planet and are constantly becoming more ad-avoiding. Creating a promotional message that sparks interest is therefore getting harder each year.

The hardest karaoke song in the world

The campaign’s main objective was to educate people about Iceland’s seven regions and about responsible travel behaviour. Tourists frequently say that the Icelandic language is notoriously difficult to learn, so why not use that challenge in a fun way - getting people to learn about the A - Ö of Iceland by challenging them to take part in the world’s hardest karaoke song, a musical journey across the country. The Karaoke song - The “A to Ö of Iceland” (the Icelandic equivalent of an A-Z guide) harnesses the uniqueness of the Icelandic language to highlight the diversity and breadth of Iceland and to encourage visitors to go further and learn more. 

Visitors to the website could also take part in the ‘regional quiz’ to win an adventure trip to Iceland and learn more about the country’s seven special regions. PR, earned and owned media formed the heart of the campaign driving momentum with paid media being used to amplify the most successful stories. Between October and December 2017 a variety of tailored Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram content was released to educate and inspired our audience. On Oct 9th 2017 “The Hardest Karaoke film” was released across all owned channels announcing the new campaign along with another film showing tourists attempting to sing the karaoke song and encouraging others to have a go for themselves. Special A to Ö regional films and content were released on social media to encourage the audience to explore the campaign further. UGC was encouraged through a variety of activations and shared on owned channels in a shape that encouraged and maintained engagement throughout the campaign (“Sing-a-longs”, #SingIceland, “A-Ö Diplomas”). 

A lasting legacy

There was an overwhelmingly positive response with 800m+ impressions delivered, along with a 97m unique reach. There have been over 8m video views across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Coverage appeared across key markets and in a variety of quality media. Tweets and comments across Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have been overwhelmingly positive with people engaging with the content and responding in an emotional way. Icelandic language schools have started using the karaoke song to teach Icelandic in their courses and people have listened to the song over 170 thousand times on Spotify.

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