You know the rural city of Saga, Japan, attracts around 15 million tourists every year with its balloon festival. That’s a lot, but not enough to bolster the flagging local economy, so Saga is taking its tourism outreach program in a weird direction. The new focus: carnivorous alien snakes.
To put itself on the non-balloon map, Saga is promoting a mini horror film about blind, eel-looking horror creatures in the Ariake Sea. This is charming for two reasons:
1. The Green Eel Goby is a totally harmless, if particularly foul looking, fish.
2. This idea is just crazy enough to work. Japan has a thriving horror culture and the idea of confronting the “Alien of Ariake” might well resonate with domestic travelers. Hell, it’s already working: The ad has generated around $1 million worth of publicity just by being ridiculous.