From Rihanna to Pitbull: the best-worst celebrity tourism videos

Viral-worthy and virus-worthy

What’s a better way for tourist boards to convince you to go somewhere you can’t afford than by creating an advert with an unexpected celebrity cameo?

There’s clearly big bucks in this business as plenty of celebrities have tried their hand at it over the years. In fact, the viral phrase “shrimp on the barbie” originated from Paul Hogan’s appearance in a promotional video for an Australian tourist board and just last week, rock legend Dave Grohl collaborated with VisitSeattle to direct a promotional video about his time in the West Coast city. Check out these other fantastically tragic examples of famouses promoting their home towns. Or in some instances, just a totally random place.

Who? Pitbull

Where? Miami

Why it’s so good? Only Mr Worldwide himself would turn a music video into an advert for Miami. Why make both vids, when you can shoot two birds with one stone (and probably save some cash). The result is this glorious offering for ‘Sexy Beaches’. Who can’t love a song where Pitbull occasionally shouts “hotels” over the top?!

Who? Chris Hemsworth

Where? Australia

Why is it so good? Who’d have Thor-t it? A beautiful Aussie promoting his beautiful home. Swap Attenborough for a Hemsworth brother in this Planet Earth-esque promotional video by Tourism Australia. It’s everything you’d expect: white sandy beaches, clear blue waters and even some food on the grill (yes, there are shrimps on that barbie).

Who? Jonas Brothers, Kim Kardashian, Betty White & Others

Where? California

Why is it so good? With celebrities left right and centre, this video is big bucks. California may be a spontaneous place, but not as spontaneous as a bikini clad (when is she ever not) Kim Kardashian reading a book on entitled ‘The Joy of Quantum Physics’ by the pool.

Who? 50 Cent

Where? Hostelworld, Barcelona

Why is it so good? It’s loud, it’s aggressive, it’s 50 Cent wandering around a chilled-out modern hostel in Barcelona (not a Beverly Hills mansion as the vibe suggests). ‘In Da Hostel’ sees him fist pumping, practising his Spanish and locking away his signature gold medallions in an IKEA style cupboard.

Who? Taylor Swift

Where? New York

Why is it so good? Taylor swiftly jumped at the chance to write another ballad–– this time to promote the city of New York for NYC & Company. There’s no bad blood here though. No exes or outcast best mates, just a harmonious repetitive tune, ‘Welcome to New York.’

Who? Usain Bolt

Where? Jamaica

Why is it so good? With a slightly sped-up rendition of Bob Marley’s One Love, this video is undoubtedly feel good. It promotes different aspects of Jamaica with people doing the classic Usain Bolt lightning arm movement–– the man himself even features at the end, standing gracefully on a grassy hill.

Who? Paul Hogan

Where? Australia

Why is it so good? This video is up there with some of the most iconic and significant videos in popular culture. It features Crocodile Dundee star, Paul Hogan, saying the now viral phrase, ‘shrimp on the barbie.’

Who? Judi Dench, Twiggy, Rupert Everett, Jamie Oliver, Dev Patel

Where? Britain

Why is it so good? If Judy Dench states ‘you’re invited’ to stay in the cold, constantly rainy country that is the UK, you can’t turn it down. Throw in another few ‘invites’ from Jamie Oliver, Twiggy, Rupert Everett and Dev Patel and you’d be mad to leave.

Who? Rihanna

Where? Barbados

Why is it so good? If there’s any celebrity you could choose to promote a place, it would be Rihanna. She’s the queen of candid – cycling, horse riding, drumming, swimming and walking, she does it all like an absolute goddess.

Who? Ryan Reynolds, Micheal J. Fox, Erick McCormack & Others

Where? British Columbia

Why is it so good? ‘It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s laid-back’ makes you wonder if they’re talking about British Columbia or the celebrity appearances, especially considering it features Ryan Reynolds.

Who? Rupert Grint, Stephen Fry, Julie Walters

Where? UK

Why is it so good? 2012 was a big year for the UK what with the Olympics n’ that, so no wonder Visit Britain wanted to promote the beauty of these green and pleasant lands. Not only does it feature Julie Walters and Stephen Fry, but also Harry Potter’s mate, Rupert Grint. Legendary.

Words: Alice Cary