Celebrities Lend Their Talents to Travel Ads

Tennis legend Roger Federer is back in front of the camera to film a tourism advertisement for his native Switzerland, only this time he’s trading one Academy Award winner for another as his partner in the commercial spot.

Federer teamed with Robert DeNiro last year to tout a return to tourism in the European country. This year, it’s Anne Hathaway in a funny ad in which the title says it all: “No One Upstages the Grand Tour of Switzerland.”

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Not even an eight-time Wimbledon champion or an Oscar winner.

It’s all part of a trend that has developed over the last several years of celebrities appearing in travel-related ads, such as actors Idris Elba and Morgan Freeman for Booking.com and Turkish Airlines during this year’s Super Bowl, or Jennifer Aniston’s appearances on behalf of Emirates Airlines several years ago.

In the Swiss Tourism spot, Federer and Hathaway are watching a commercial within the commercial. Sitting in a screening room, they lament that their appearances are shot from a long distance while the camera focuses more on the beauty of Switzerland.

“Now I know why Bob (DeNiro) passed on this,” Hathaway mutters to Federer as they complain to the director.

Here’s the spot:

They aren’t the only celebrities going the travel route.

Actor Josh Duhamel, famed for his starring roles in the “Transformers” movie series, signed up for two more years to promote his home state of North Dakota.

Duhamel has been the spokesperson for North Dakota Tourism since 2013.

Celebrity Cruises announced last month it was creating a travel image library to share to help promote its inclusive offerings, hyping the photos of several photographers including the world-renowned Annie Liebovitz.

And also last month, Qantas Airlines released another “Spirit of Australia” commercial, a spot that was filmed in late 2019 but put on the shelf for more than two years because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The commercial stars movie and Broadway megastar, and Australia native, Hugh Jackman.

“We have kept it in the can for over two years because the time has never been quite right … it was filmed when things were very different but now is the right time,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.

Many destinations and travel companies look to rebound their tourism revenues as travel slowly but surely reopens around the world, and using celebrities to promote their brand is not something that will go away.

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