“Paintings are disgusting.” This was the one-star (★☆☆☆☆) review posted by Toby M. of the Leopold Museum in Vienna. It was projected on the side of the museum by the Vienna Tourist Board.
This was part of a campaign entitled “Unrating Vienna” in 2019. The goal was to highlight bad, yet funny reviews in hopes of convincing people to see Vienna for themselves before forming an opinion.
Norbert Kettner, the Tourist Board CEO shared some background on the reasoning to Lonely Planet,
“We take a humorous look at the notion that online ratings are not always the right path to take when it comes to looking for relaxation and moments of enjoyment. The campaign is intended to make people sit up and think and trigger broader public discussion.”
David Rendall and I see this as an example of Flaunting (the cornerstone of the eight FLAWSOME types of Pink Goldfish). The Tourist Board decided not to shy away from bad reviews. They owned it. Snowbird, a resort in Utah, has leveraged a similar approach in their advertising.
Question – by calling out the haters, they are challenging tourists to discover Vienna on their own terms. Is this a smart strategy?
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