Icelandair’s ‘Polite Tourist Bouncer’ campaign returns for ‘Cheat Holiday’


Icelandair has announced the second phase of its ‘The Polite Tourist Bouncer’ campaign by social media agency Kubbco, with a hilarious Cheat Holiday spoof.

First launched in October 2023, and covered by Mediashotz at the time, the campaign centred on a mockumentary-style film introducing Hugi, Icelandair’s ‘polite bouncer’, and highlighting the benefits of Icelandair’s stopover offering, where customers between European and North American destinations can book to stay in Iceland at no additional cost.

Hugi’s job was to ensure tourists did not overstay their stopover. But due to their love for Iceland, this was easier said than done.

Cheat Holiday

For phase two, Hugi returns again in a newly launched social media video called ‘The Returning Stopover Tourist’. A business traveller is interviewed at the airport about her work trip, which she ensures is far from a ‘cheat holiday’.

The film cuts to scenes of her exploring the island’s striking natural landscapes before Hugi appears, frantically waving a ‘maximum seven day stopover’ sign.

It spotlights how business can too easily become pleasure in Iceland, and why visitors just don’t want to leave.

The second phase, accompanied by an image series that’s running across Instagram and YouTube from 27 February to 27 March, highlights how Icelandair’s stopover offer can also be accessed by return business travellers.


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‘The Polite Tourist Bouncer’ has proved highly successful for Icelandair, leading to YoY growth in stopover bookings that averaged a 25% increase during the campaign months.

Alongside this, a flurry of positive comments, like “This new marketing campaign is genius”,  and above average view-through rate for the video content, prove Hugi’s audience appeal.

Jóhann Benediktsson – Digital Marketing Manager, Team Lead at Icelandair, said: “We at Icelandair are very proud of the results of The Polite Bouncer campaign.

“The cooperation with Kubbco was inspiring, professional and fun, all the way from ideation, to filming to the end product and beyond.

“The campaign falls perfectly under the umbrella concept of “Easy to stop, hard to leave”.

“What differentiates it from previous initiatives is the humour element, that gives it a positive edge. We can clearly see the results from the positive feedback we’ve gotten within the company and more importantly with the social audience.”

Benediktsson added: “One can of course not live off positive comments alone, so it was great to see our KPI’s being met in terms of views, engagement rate and far above average view-through rate for the video content.

“It also didn’t hurt to see the YoY growth averaging a 25% increase in stopover bookings during the campaign months.”

David Juul Ledstrup, Chief Strategy Officer, Kubbco, said: “The collaboration between Icelandair and Kubbco has felt so natural from the start.

“The success of this campaign – now entering its 2nd phase – is definitely down to their faith in our strategic recommendations and crazy, social-first ideas, as well as the ongoing fun, open, honest, and no BS dialogue on both sides of the relationship.”