Morocco, Anyone??

I’m down to my last and final paper of the semester. It’s so close, I can feel it. I’ve been looking at the issues of tourism, specifically as it relates to the issues of representing “culture” in tourism advertising. I chose to look at this print campaign – “Morocco: There are countries that make the soul grow” – that immediately caught my eye when I first saw it pop up in Paris metro stations earlier this fall, as a case study. Without sharing any of my thoughts on the subject, as of yet, I’d like to invite you to share any of your initial thoughts, reactions, comparisons, points of reference, etc. in the comments below. Does it make you want to plan a trip to Morocco now??
{The campaign was created by BDDP Unlimited, a Paris-based creative agency. You can find the accompanying Visit Morocco tourism website here.}


  • Actually, it doesn’t really make me want to go to Morocco. I think that the images they chose are interesting and otherwise would be enticing, but the presentation of them coming out of a box is more like they are someone’s idea of Morocco; it makes it hard to see oneself there. Also, the people in the images aren’t looking out, so they aren’t inviting the viewer in at all. I don’t want to go to Morocco and have a bunch of rich people ignore me. Finally, I don’t generally store my soul in a box.

    Are you going to be able to come home for the holidays?

  • interesting commentary, damselfish. definitely gives me more to think about :) . . . and no, not home for the holidays – actually headed the other direction (to cyprus!).

    lindsey- yep, seen the tv commercial too. it pretty much embodies the ideas and scenes of the print campaign. for the sake of streamlining my paper, i’m just looking at the print campaign.


  • As someone who is leaving for Morocco on Saturday (cannot wait!!!) I have to agree with the first poster who said that the images are a bit non-engaging and cold…

    I like the idea and they are interestingly designed, so conceptually it attracts my attention… but the swirl of colors and smells and dusty streets and sounds and winding markets are what is drawing me, and I don’t get an idea of that from here… these pictures are like scenes from a documentary or lecture series… I think a lack of things in the immediate foreground creates less of an immersive perspective…

    Also, would have loved to see some more people holding the box instead of the same guy everytime;)

    But I do love the slogan!!!

    Interesting series to pick ditty!!! can’t wait to hear what you had to say!

  • Interesting topic!

    My first reaction is that they are trying to attract people to go to Morocco who would normally go to India…people have often gone to India because of it’s image as being a place where spiritual experiences take place (I guess this reputation comes from the 60s with the advent of new ageism and the popularity of Indian gurus at the time). So really I think they are trying to pitch it to the same audience.

  • I have been to morocco, love Morocco but these pictures don’t excite me. They don’t inspire me to plan a third trip. Very boring ads.

  • These ads really don’t make me want to go. Which is odd, because I would actually love to go to Morocco. If I look closely at the images within the bubbles, I feel somewhat more enticed– I would like to be in those settings. I think I have to agree with the general sentiment, and that it must be something about the white boxes that puts me off. Maybe its that advertising is supposed to make you want to be like the people in the ads, but the box-bubbles add a confusing layer. Like, am I supposed to want to be someone who can think about Morocco? I can do that now. -X

  • this is really interesting feedback. and really, not totally what i expected to be hearing. but of note, you all are well-traveled and also represent a slightly different demographic.

    thanks and keep commenting :)


  • I can’t say this makes me want to go. I just want to go because. Essentially they could just have a white board that read “Morocco anyone?” in black letters and I would want to go? The pandora’s box thing in these ads looks a little creepy to me. lol!

  • I recently started reading your blog and thought I would comment on this as well. I agree with most other commenters, the pictures don’t really look authentic or inviting in most of them, and it could maybe do without the whole guy holding the box/white area underneath the bubble, but this is just my opinion. I am interested in what your paper says about it!

    Love your blog!

  • I can almost picture how this made it through the creative review process, but I have to agree with the others — this campaign makes me NOT want to go.

    I agree with the comments that the framing device is distancing and positions the viewer as a voyeur rather than a participant. But also, I think the photoillustration style, as well as the stilted compositions, feel overly staged, unnatural, inauthentic — all those things I WOULDN’T like in a travel experience.

    So, no, the creative isn’t delivering on the “soulful” concept.

    I keep trying to picture who the target audience is here, but my gut feeling is that this campaign was produced to please the client, not to entice the intended (I’m thinking adventurous and culture-driven?) travelers… And that’s the way it goes…

  • Hate to jump on the bandwagon but I agree with the other comments. My sister and brother-in-law had their honeymoon in Morocco and their photos really made want to go! There was one of a dove just taking flight from a nook in a tree with a tiled plaza in the background. It was like being there and seeing it through MY eyes. These feel like they are dumbing things down for a stupid tourist. By putting the guy holding the box in every photo above him it’s like bashing you over the head with “you can see yourself here!”. It’s a real turn off to me.

  • I’ve always loved Morocco, but these ads seem a bit “tacky”…hmmm, I’m not sure why I feel that way. Maybe it’s because of the modern “Aladdin’s lamp” image of wishing to travel to some exotic land. Or maybe it’s the way the models are posed–it feels a bit too contrived. All they really have to do is show photographs of the actual landscape and colourful scenes and beautiful faces in everyday Morocco, and I think that would have enticed me more rather than these re-enacted photos. But that’s just my opinion :) Regardless, I love maroc anyway…

  • Oh I saw these on a print ad site. I thought they were interesting but the photography just looked too stagnant. I would have loved to see more “real” photography and then I’d be all over these ads.

  • I’d love to go to Morocco and these ads are quite elegant but in a flat way – it’s a picture of other people in fairly stereotype situations, but not happening to me. Is this the campaign that Maryam was also filmed for?

  • Unfortunately, the ads don’t really do much for me. The reason is that I know Morocco is so much more beautiful than the silvery thought-bubbles appear to be. From photos I have seen, the country is much more majestic and interesting while these images seem staged and sterile. Morocco is definitely on the top of my list as places I want to see, but I these don’t push me in one direction or another.

    Maybe that’s just me???

    Good luck!

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  • Hey Anne, maybe for the Parisan population this would make them want to go, but for me as an American it is a bit too gimmicky. I understand the visual of “out of the box” but instead of literally making the images that look like they’re on sheets come out of a tissue box, they could just use really really fantastic photography (use a very talented photographer), saturated colors, eye catching scenes and then dress it up with good, well thought out and designed typography. I kinda want to see some real scenes, not sets, but that is just me! Good luck with your paper!!

  • Speaking as someone who is not a world traveler I would have to say that these adds make me want to take a vacation but not necessarily to Morocco. The scenes don’t have much life and in all reality you could do/see the same things in different places. I also think that a photograph would be far better than the painting like pictures… you can’t go to a painting.

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