With more than two thousand years of history, the city of Tarragona has borne witness to countless lives and events, but in the last few years the city has been showing a brand new facet to the world as the backdrop to some very different events: advertising campaigns. Several brands and producers have chosen areas of Tarragona as the scenario for their ads, attracted by the city’s wealth of heritage monuments, or in search of an original setting in the narrow streets of the Part Alta, an idyllic beach scene or even a unique urban facility. With the support of the Tarragona Film Office, all these narratives have been transformed into reality, offering yet another means of discovering and admiring some of the sights of Tarragona. This article offers a tour of some of the ad locations that will make you fall in love with Tarragona from a different perspective.
Modern-day gladiators in the Amphitheatre
The unbeatable combination of the Mediterranean Sea and the spectacular amphitheatre of ancient Tarraco, built in the second century, has attracted numerous filmmakers for whom it provides the perfect backdrop. The monument was the climatic image of an Estrella Damm campaign in 2014, but one of the most memorable of all the shoots in the amphitheatre was the one by Dolce & Gabbana. To promote its contemporary men’s fragrance The One Sport, the brand revisited the amphitheatre’s ancient activity with a new model of the modern gladiator. Offering one of the most beautiful panoramas in the city, the interior of the amphitheatre can still be visited today and you can even watch modern gladiatorial combats on warm August evenings with Amfiteatrvm.
The moving story of the Cathedral’s bell-tower
The snack brand Lays tugged on our heartstrings with its Christmas tale about the head of the bell-ringing team at Tarragona Cathedral, Cristòbal Conesa, and his annual pealing of the bells for peace. This very personal story, which brings a lump to your throat, takes place in the stunning setting of the Part Alta, featuring the inside of the Cathedral and the very top of its bell-tower which offers a unique and almost magical view over the city. You can experience the feeling of being a bell-ringer for a short while on the guided tour offered by the Cathedral, which includes an ascent to the highest point to admire the city from the same perspective as the star of the ad.
The idyllic beach of Capellans
Tarragona boasts more than ten kilometres of beaches from which to choose, and this part of the coastline is home to numerous little coves which, as the locals well know, are fragments of paradise on earth. The people behind the Fanta campaign of summer 2018 also knew this very well, as they chose the beach of Capellans to shoot part of their ad that takes place on an idyllic beach. And that was not the only location, as they also transformed Tarragona’s trade fair into a discotheque. Fanta is not the only brand to be attracted by the appeal of this beach, as Estrella Damm also chose it as one of their locations for their 2017 campaign, shot in Tarragona, which featured the Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage. Located between the beaches of Arrabassada and La Llarga, Capellans beach is one of those coves on the Tarragona coastline that we recommend you visit as part of a walk along the pathway that hugs the city’s coast.
The streets of the Part Alta
One of the neighbourhoods of Tarragona that offers a wealth of atmospheric streets, nooks and crannies in the shelter of its Roman walls is the Part Alta. Among the many brands that have been captivated by its charms is the insurance company Axa, which chose the narrow street of Escales de l’Arboç to shoot part of its ad campaign in 2018. Still partly flanked by Roman walls, the Part Alta neighbourhood boasts the highest concentration of Roman and medieval monuments in the city, a labyrinthine network of streets and a fantastic array of restaurants, not to mention a truly inspiring atmosphere.
A very special conference centre
Although it’s not a place that is generally open for tours, if you come to Tarragona for business reasons or to attend a congress or convention, the Tarragona Conference Centre is one of the locations that you almost certainly know about. Its unique architecture, with its wall of preserved natural stone on every level that offers an unparalleled backdrop for events, was the inspiration for the German lighting brand Occhio, which filmed its entire ad campaign for 2018 here, known as The Charm. The ad starred two big names from the film world, Mads Mikkelsen and Sofia Boutella.
The perfect racetrack
The automotive industry is another prolific user of Tarragona as a backdrop for their advertising shoots, whether it’s the labyrinthine nature of the narrow streets of the Part Alta to present the new Toyota model or promote the Volkswagen Polo to a Japanese audience, or performing spectacular manoeuvres in the middle of Rambla Nova for the Korean campaign by Hyundai, or chilling out to the incomparable backdrop of Miracle Beach, as chosen by the Seat directors for the new Ateca ad. And Opel took us on a tour of the whole of Tarragona, from the port up to the Part Alta, not forgetting the beaches, in its ad shot in 2013 to present its new model, the Mokka.
If you’d like to know more about the locations in Tarragona that have provided a backdrop for film shoots, of if you’re interested in finding out about the other locations available through the Tarragona Film Office, as well as our range of associated support services for audio-visual productions, we recommend you visit our website.