Last updated: 12:25 PM ET, Thu July 14 2016

Bowen Island Tourism: 'Tell Your Friends It's Awful Here'

Destination & Tourism | Michael Schottey | July 13, 2016

Bowen Island Tourism: 'Tell Your Friends It's Awful Here'

Photo courtesy of the Bowen Island Municipal Economic Development Committee 

In a sea of summer tourism marketing, Bowen Island in British Columbia, Canada has found a hilarious way to stick out.

The “Tell Your Friends It’s Awful” campaign was inspired by Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas invitations to keep those cities weird. It features four animal mascots—led by a buck deer with an adorable heart-shaped nose—which encourage humans to keep other humans away from Bowen Island with slogans like, “Proudly Resisting Change since 1874.”

It’s reminiscent of Chic Fil-A’s cows imploring people to “eat mor chikin.”

The campaign also has a strong underpinning of Bowen Island not being a typical tourism destination, reminding people that there aren’t drive thrus and telling people to keep the forest like they found it…"really really dirty." The campaign is being featured on social media as well as on t-shirts, bumper stickers and the like. 

The island only has about 3,000 residents and is a short ferry ride from West Vancouver. It’s known (naturally) for its nature and various outdoor and water activities.

The marketing campaign is entirely run by volunteers, which is remarkable in that both the concept and execution are so well done. If Bowen Island is even half as enjoyable as the people who seem to love it, it will be well worth the trip.

Sorry, adorable hipster buck deer. 

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