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Oscar-Worthy Short-Form Videos in Travel Marketing

A row of shiny Oscar statuettes

Roll out the red carpet: for awards season, we created a round-up celebrating some of our favorite Oscar-worthy content by Destination Marketing Organizations from 2023!

Best Screenplay 🏆

Stories are at the heart of everything. Here are some videos that make the most of creative storytelling with their limited runtime:

Visit Milwaukee – Bobby Portis World’s Best Intern

Visit Milwaukee’s spoof of The Office features none other than basketball player Bobby Portis as the World’s Best Intern! We follow Bobby as he learns about expense reports, avoiding phishing scams, and making coffee. The script does such a good job at packing in The Office and Milwaukee references in 2 minutes, and Bobby and the cast really shine at delivering the script’s dry humor.

Visit Ogden – We’re Skiers

@visitogden We’re skiers…❄️⛷️🎿 #skiutah #utahwinter #skiseason #skiingtiktok #ogdenutah #skiing #utah ♬ original sound – VisitOgden

Poking fun at ski culture at its finest! This is Visit Ogden’s take on the popular TikTok Trend where you say “We’re ___, of course we ___,” followed by a little joke about a common stereotype or habit associated with that identity or job. Visit Ogden’s script is not only great at capturing this very niche humor, they took it one step further by hilariously acting it out with their team and purposefully failing, adding a whole other layer of humor on top of an already funny script.

Cody Yellowstone – 11 Stages of Your Yellowstone Vacation

@codyyellowstone Don’t forget the bison traffic jam✨🦬 #yellowstone #capcut #trending #meme #stages #vacation ♬ Epic Music(863502) – Draganov89

Keeping the trending content going, we have to shout out Cody Yellowstone’s epic meme odyssey — every stage is accompanied by a funny green screen meme with trending audio. Their story perfectly captures all the range of emotions that come with a trip, from taking pictures of everything, to bison traffic jams, to trying to stay awake on the way home.

Visit Lake Charles – Say Yes to the Venue

This 4-part YouTube series from Visit Lake Charles follows a real-life couple as they try to choose their dream wedding venue. This has so many great storytelling ingredients, from the fun reality TV-esque narration, to the well-structured episodes that guide you through meeting the couple, seeing the venues, and then making their decision — all while highlighting Southwest Louisiana as the perfect ‘happily ever after’ setting!

Visit Eau Claire – 2023 Outtakes

@visiteauclaire To celebrate the New Year, we’re taking you behind the scenes of a year full of misses, falls, and a whole lot of fun! 🫣🎉 Cheers to the raw, ‘reel’ moments that made this year unforgettable! 🥂 #captureec #wisconsin #visiteauclaire #travel #midwest #eauclairewi #winter #newyears #bloopers #outtakes ♬ Happy Music – Mystix Instrumentals

Maybe a bit of an unexpected addition for this category, but we really wanted to shout out Visit Eau Claire’s 2023 Outtakes video. They compiled a supercut of outtakes from a year of capturing video content, including misses and mishaps. We love how they used this content as an opportunity to tell a really relatable, authentic story that shows how much fun their team is having behind the camera!

Best Cinematography 🏆

These videos have some truly skilled camerawork and setups going on behind the scenes:

Visit Stockton – Flavor Fest Setup

@visitstockton It’s almost time!! See you at Stockton Flavor Fest! 😎✌🏽#fyp #tiktok #stocktonflavorfest #visitstockton #stocktonca #culture #cuisine #community #art #music #food #entertainment #supportlocal #travel @Goodstock Productions @VisitCalifornia ♬ Memories – Lux-Inspira

This video from Visit Stockton has such a great variety of shots that show both the big scale and tiny details that go into throwing an awesome event. We also love how they feature the setup crew having fun and interacting with the camera!

Visit Space Coast – Spring Break Vacation Ending

@visitspacecoast when your Spring Break vacation comes to an end☀️🌴#springbreak #cocoabeach #florida #spacecoast #beach #vacation ♬ original sound – xxspeed.up.audiosxx

We’re obsessed with Visit Space Coast’s take on the Lizzy McAlpine song trend where the star dramatically runs and spins around. Not only do we have incredible acting by Florida Space Coast’s beloved astronaut mascot, we also have to give it to the camera person for shooting this video in one clean take. Just look at this smooth tracking shot! *chef’s kiss*

UP Travel – Lake Superior Day


✨ Taking in the breathtaking serenity of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula on #LakeSuperiorDay ✨  🎥 @heatheroutdoors

♬ original sound  – The Upper Peninsula

Up next is this supercut of Lake Superior by UP Travel. This features amazing custom content by CrowdRiff Creator Heather! We love the variety, from slow zooms that let you soak in the sights, to selfie shots and POVs that put you in their shoes, to drone footage that shows off the scale of the land.

Visit Alamosa – Wes Anderson Trend

Last but not least is Visit Alamosa’s cute take on the Wes Anderson trend. They perfectly captured the aesthetic of his movies with their static, symmetrical camera setups and warm colors. It’s such a playful way to hop on a trend and show off your destination in a new way that romanticizes it like a movie!

Best Actor 🏆

Here are just some of the many beloved CrowdRiff Creators who always shine in their authentic content, whether behind or in front of the camera:

Wendy – @xowendyli

Wendy’s a CrowdRiff Creator based out of Toronto who has made content for Destination Toronto, Culinary Tourism Alliance, and Indigenous Tourism Canada. You can really see the variety and fun vibes in Wendy’s shots, and how you’re put right in the shoes of a visitor.

Dipal – @dipalkparmar

Next is Dipal, a CrowdRiff Creator based out of San Francisco Bay Area who has shot for big tourism brands like Visit California and Brand USA. We love these colorful and eye-catching shots, and how they capture both the scale and little details that all work together to make a place really special.

Roxanne – @roamwithroxanne

Roxanne’s a CrowdRiff Creator based out of Los Angeles who has shot for Visit California, Visit Greater Palm Springs, Visit Pasadena, and more! Whether it’s getting in touch with nature, Barbie mania, or a foodie discovery, Roxanne brings a warm, dynamic energy to every shoot.

Ryan – @smilkos_lens

Last but not least, Ryan’s a CrowdRiff Creator from California repping van life across the U.S. with Katy and their super cute pup, Junior. They’ve shot content for Visit Alamosa, Daytona Beach, UP Travel, and more, including great eats, drinks, and of course, dog-friendly places.

Best Picture 🏆

It’s impossible to narrow all the amazing content that’s come out this past year, so we’re just shouting out a few of our many favorites that have gone viral in 2023:

Brand USA – 5th Avenue Holiday Windows

Shot by CrowdRiff Creator Ashley, this Reel from Brand USA features glitzy window shopping of iconic stores on 5th Avenue in New York City. Its holiday magic racked up 16.7M views on Instagram!

Hello BC & Destination Indigenous – Sea Wolf Adventures

Next we have this Reel from Hello BC and Destination Indigenous, shot by CrowdRiff Creator Geoff with Sea Wolf Adventures. This Reel immerses you in an Indigenous grizzly bear and cultural tour. These shots of the landscape and the animals are just incredible — you can see why this has almost 5 million views and counting!

Travel Oregon – Crane Hot Springs

We’re shouting out Travel Oregon’s viral video of Crane Hot Springs not only because it’s really what we need right now in chilly Canada, but also because it’s a perfect example of how sometimes less is more. This 6-second clip shot by CrowdRiff Creator Renee got over 2 million views, 75,000 likes, and 10,000 new followers!

Visit California – Fun Holiday Activities

@visitcalifornia ‘Tis the season for spectacular displays, ginger bread houses, and millions of Christmas lights! 🎄 Add these Los Angeles holiday staples to your must-see list this season. 🌟  📍 Shop, see “snow,” check out the tree lighting, and other festivities at the Grove  📍 Go shopping, meet Santa and see nightly snowfall at Americana at Brand 📍 Ride the train at Griffith Park Train Rides’ Holiday Light Festival What did we miss? 🎥 @asteryxphoto, @Jeanine | adventure travel  #VisitCalifornia #California #holidays #thingstodo #christmas #thanksgiving #snow #LA #holidaytravel #traveltiktok #shopping #holidaylights #trainride #unique #fun #familyfriendly #fyp ♬ Hanging Lanterns – Kalaido

Last but not least, we love this video from Visit California listing fun holiday activities. This is an easy-to-bookmark schedule-style post with a mash-up of festive content by CrowdRiff Creators Terry and Jeanine. This short and sweet video has over 1.3 million views and 75,000 likes!

And that’s a wrap on our Oscars round-up! Congratulations to all the DMOs and Creators for your amazing work — and to our viewers at home for tuning in! 🏆

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