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From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

#OpenUpToEurope, a ZN campaign.

Entered in Travel & Tourism

About this entry

#OpenUpToEurope is an EU/ETC-funded campaign created and implemented by ZN to spur Europeans to get back on the road and rediscover their continent after COVID-19.  

Its key aim was to instill confidence that traveling to EU countries is a safe and seamless experience and stimulate pent-up demand for travel in Europe during summer 2021.  

In addition, the campaign had to be a showcase for Europe's many attractions and the wide variety of unique experiences available within easy reach of each nation. It also had to inspire consumers to broaden their perceptions of what Europe has to offer, encouraging them to travel in a more responsible and sustainable way and highlight 2021 as the European Year of Rail. 

Why does this entry deserve to win?

The team brought the campaign to life through a well-executed media strategy with an inspirational hero video, microsite, and social media campaign which launched in June 2021. We had to be a credible voice for traveling during the pandemic and project with authority, accuracy, and energy at all times. 


Our target audience were consumers across the 27 EU member states, plus the UK, largely in the high-net-worth bracket and considered Free Independent Travellers (FITs) between 35 and 54, and those over 55 who were vaccinated.  


We created a hero video reminding the audience about what they've missed during the pandemic combining aspirational images and phrases like “I want an aperitivo overlooking the Adriatic” and “I want to beat my papa at boules again” and evoke reminiscence about seeing family and friends again. 


The #OpenUpToEurope campaign microsite featured Key Travel Information, Partner links with destinations, tourism and trade organisations, plus Tips for a New Way of Travelling, which connected our audience with the key messaging around slow travel. It encouraged people to travel differently by using Europe's unique shared infrastructure, especially railway routes but also hiking trails, bike paths, and ways to be away from crowded areas.  


The site also showcased Europe through three key passion points: Nature, Creative Cities, and History, and featured stories such as the caves beneath Slovakia’s Tatras Mountains or the ancient Phoenician's influence on Cypriot gastronomy, with links to partner websites. 


The reach was divided between Lightbox advertising, which was paid for to drive traffic, a hero video on the microsite to introduce the campaign and get across the core message in any language. The site was updated weekly with news updates in different countries and had both a paid-for and organic audience, as well as links to and from partner websites. 


Social media was also a key part of the campaign with the hashtag #OpenUpToEurope used throughout. Our Facebook forum was divided into groups for nature lovers, history lovers, and city lovers, each with its own hashtag. This was to synergise with the global campaign 'Europe invites the curious' which included links from to the #OpenUpToEurope microsite.  


As the main campaign objective was to reinforce consumer confidence in traveling in Europe again, we had to show how the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries were working together to provide a safe and seamless experience. We did this by working with our destination partners and tourist boards to promote travel within their countries. 


One of the challenges we faced was the ever-changing rules around the pandemic in different countries. We approached this by updating the news section using the latest facts from on a weekly basis and combining each news story with a travel feature linked to a passion point. 


Since the launch, the campaign received positive engagement with our audience who have shared their stories on social media platforms. The campaign was also featured across numerous news sites in Europe, including the UK's Travel Weekly magazine, Euronews, and Travel Daily. 


The #OpenUpToEurope campaign ran until September 30th, 2021. By the end of August, it had already reached over 38M people across Europe. As a result of our campaign, we can show over €30m in attributed hotel revenue and 110k combined hotel and flight bookings from 200k travelers. Additionally, the hero video was featured consistently throughout the campaign on Euronews TV and on websites.


Video for #OpenUpToEurope, a ZN campaign.

Entrant Company / Organization Name

ZN, European Travel Commission


Entry Credits