Day 4: The Genius of Icelandic Marketing

Jennifer Docherty

2016-09-30 16:21:00

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to call it marketing genius.

It seems to be a recurring theme that breakfast is a little problematic. Staying up until 2am every night and trying to make it down in time is proving difficult. Once again, only Alan and myself made it down.

This day was mostly focused on learning and listening to a variety of different speakers from Expedia, TourRadar, Palisis, Viator and Icelandair.

Now, if you read my first blog from this trip, you will have learned that I’m really intrigued by Icelandic marketing and branding. So, I was very excited to hear Birkir Holm Gudnason, the CEO of Icelandair. He talked us through the history of the company and went into some of the details of their marketing.

During his presentation, he discussed a number of the marketing campaigns that Icelandair have done over the years. I had actually already looked into these before-hand, and it was great to hear about it from his point of view. Don’t worry, I know that I’m obsessed and I'm not that normal!

One of my favourite campaigns is the #MyStopover Buddy. As many of you will know, Iceland is a great place for a stopover when on long-haul flights to America etc. So, to take advantage of this increase in tourism for one day and to maximise the customer experience, Icelandair asked for volunteers from the staff to be a ‘buddy’ for the day and show the people their favourite restaurant or place to visit. Even Birkir Holm Gudnason, the CEO, took part!


This was a phenomenal campaign that reached worldwide news, went viral on social media and really really connected with their customers. I genuinely don’t think it’s an exaggeration to call it marketing genius.

It shows that they really understand people. People like to spend time with the locals and learn about the destination by someone who has really experienced it. #Genius!

I’ll stop there before I get even more carried away, I could just keep talking about it and I’ve already done that in my first blog. Also, it’s probably only me who finds it this fascinating.

After the seminars and talks were finished, we headed out to the Gray Line Iceland headquarters to get a tour and drinks reception there. We got to sample delicious Icelandic ice-cream and yogurt. Even managed to get a picture driving the bus (p.s. don't drink and drive!)

The office was really nice, pristine and modern, with fancy electric standing desks and even had a corner dedicated to Ryan Gosling!

After this, we headed on to Nasa ‘Farmhouse’ - which was really a club in the centre of Reykjavik. The after-party was sponsored by Senshi and we got very excited to see our logo in shining lights!

There was live music, Gray Line awards, great food and really great chat. We've loved spending time with all our new friends and can't wait for next year’s convention in Miami!

I believe there was an after-after-party back at the hotel, where Nico decided to jump behind the closed bar and start serving drinks to the people who remained. There wasn't many left, as quite a few had gone to bed by this time because there was an early morning flight to Munich for the Octoberfest.

The festivities continue for some!

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