If nothing says spend your vacation at the most easterly edge of North America more than a goat on top of a horse, then Newfoundland and Labrador should prepare for an influx of tourists.
The province, known until now as the place where the sun rises first, will now likely be best known for something else entirely, for having what could be the most unusual tourism ad to date — a baby goat riding around on a white horse as music plays in the background.
The best part of it all is that the commercial was not staged, but was just something that actually happens in the rural province with a population of a little more than 500,000.
“While the film crew was on their way to film in the St. Mary’s area, they spotted the goat on the horse on the side of the road,” Newfoundland’s Minister for Tourism, Culture and Recreation, the Honorable Terry French, told ABCNews.com today.
“They stopped and said, ‘Did anybody see this? We have to stop and get this,’” he said. “If this doesn’t play into us being a unique place, we’ve got to get this.”
The random bit of nature in action was spotted and filmed by the crew in 2011. When they pitched it to French for the province’s ongoing “Find Yourself” ad campaign to promote tourism, French said no.
“I thought it was fun to watch but said, ‘Oh, I’m not so sure,’” he recalled.
French’s mind was changed this month when his social media team noticed that goats were trending online. The team presented its priceless goat video to him again and said, according to French, “Goats are trending online. Why don’t we use the footage we have?’”
This time, French said yes.
“We all sat around a board room table for a while and laughed, and said, ‘Let’s do it,’” he said. “So we did.”
The resulting 35-second video was posted to YouTube Tuesday and already has nearly 100,000 views. Titled, very literally, “Goat on a Horse, Newfoundland and Labrador,” the ad opens with the question, “What else would you expect from a place with its very own time zone?”
“We know that we’re not Disney World and we don’t try to be,” French said of his province’s tack on attracting tourists.
The tourism department’s “Find Yourself” ad campaign has produced 16 television ads since it began in 2007, racking up more than 180 international and national awards for excellence.
This goat on a horse video, however, could be the one, however, that the province will become most known for.
“It is what it is,” French said. “You get people watching it online. People get a real good look at us and then say, ‘Maybe this is a place we should visit someday.
“We tell everyone it’s a place that should be on everyone’s bucket list,” he said.