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China Airlines launches strange, ‘dark’ travel ad

What’s the weirdest ‘souvenir’ you’ve brought home?

Focusing on the unplanned and unpleasant ‘souvenirs’ travellers might bring back with them from their vacations, China Airlines has unveiled its new campaign #WhatTravelBringsYou. 



In the campaign video ad, holidaymakers can be seen lamenting the mistakes they made while away, like falling pregnant, gaining weight, getting a tattoo and overspending on shopping. One man is even seen walking away from his new ‘wife’ before throwing his marriage certificate in a bin. 


Elsewhere, there are broken bones from a skiing trip and an apparently cursed statue purchased in Scotland. 


While the ad has garnered a lot of controversy since its release in June, it has also proven extremely popular, with the original Chinese-language video already viewed over 6 million times on YouTube. 


In the English-language version, a message at the end of the ad reads, “You never know what travel will bring to your life.” Like slightly disturbing travel ads. 


In a statement made at the launch of the campaign, China Airlines didn’t even mention the ad’s dark side, instead focusing, strangely, on “great memories”



“The best way to relax the mind and body is to take a holiday. It will also leave you with great memories,” China Airlines Senior Vice President Ya-Mei Lo said in the statement. 


“The new #WhatTravelBringsYou brand concept from China Airlines hopes to remind people that they should always find the time to relax no matter how busy they are. They may even receive an unexpected surprise and come home with special souvenirs of their own!”


Despite focusing more on the unwanted souvenirs, to its credit the ad also shows travellers who are happy with their ‘souvenirs’, like a tourist who won big at a Macao casino and a couple who got engaged in Rome.


Though perhaps even weirder than the ad itself was the launch event, which saw the Taiwan-based carrier invite 60 women who had fallen pregnant “on their overseas holidays” to the campaign’s unveiling. 


More than 500 women applied within 10 days, with one lucky person wInning return airfares for three to any China Airlines destination.


What do you think of the ad? 



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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 17 July 2019

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