By Darren Tobia
June 09, 2011

Cheesy travel slogans are a dime a dozen. There's something decidedly square in the art of selling destinations, and rightly so. Not only must you lure new travelers, you also have to represent the locals who live in these places—and you probably shouldn't tick them off.

So, it's all the more interesting to notice some chance-taking of late. A few brave tourist boards—hoping to zap awake a sleepy economy, defibrillator-style—have unveiled a slew of over-the-top, playfully arm-twisting slogans.

Days ago, for instance, I discovered "I need Spain," despite having never been there. It becomes a heavy cross to bear, especially if you've burned through vacation time already. And imagine my horror, with all this talk of raptures, finding out it was “Vienna — Now or Never.” The city has since extended its ultimatum to the fall, citing miscalculation.

Catchy, perhaps. But memorable taglines aren’t just about being clever, says Jeff Tarakajian, vice president of Draftfcb, the ad agency that launched Jamaica's One Love, One Heart campaign two decades ago. Just a few notes of that steel-drum anthem can whisk me from a couch, landing poolside in dreamland, rum bucket in tow. “Look at how much fun we’re having without you,” beckons even the lady carrying laundry on her head in that mid-nineties spot.

Its success wasn't all sunny images and soulful tunes: A true classic is inseparable from the vacation spot it sells.

"The campaign couldn't have been about anywhere else," says Tarakajian.

Darren Tobia is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure.