“Nobody knows where it is but when you find it – it’s amazing!” So goes the tag-line for a new advertising campaign for Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital city. The ad series, which was launched on August 8th (otherwise known as International Orgasm Day), also precedes the official visit of Pope Francis in the coming weeks. Naturally, the combination of these elements have combined to create an… agitation. Both Vilnius’s Archbishop and former Mayor expressed concerns (prompted by Western stereotypes about Eastern Europe) that the campaign promotes sex tourism and will attract the wrong kind of tourist to Vilnius. Others, however, have embraced the creative campaign — which evidently came from Lithuanian advertising students, according to the city’s tourism board, Go Vilnius.
The campaign made the new cycle rounds before landing on John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, where he beguilingly asked, “Will this ad get people to come?”
If Vilnius’ accompanying online campaign has input, the answer will be an emphatic “Hell, yes.” As the landing page for vilniusgspot.com loads, the muscle memory for any user of swipe-priority dating apps kicks in. A series of modestly inappropriate questions sets up the order of your matches – which, in this case, are not douchey selfies but actual tourist destinations in Vilnius – in a bizarro swipe scenario where every location is a match.
From there you have access to a user-friendly map laden with sexually suggestive icons directing you to the restaurants, museums, and parks etc. you matched with. I took the test several times and as a veteran of several unsuccessful tours on Tinder or Bumble, I can attest it is equally addicting. And… just like the right Tinder encounter… the possibility of the experience living up to the thrill of the “match” might just be worth leaving the house for.