When your island nation/tourist destination has been well-publicized in the US as "the last place that poor woman's daughter was seen alive" clearly you're going to have a bit of a marketing issue. But Aruba is protesting "But nothing bad ever happens here! We're so friendly!" a little too much:

Instead of ending with the "90,000 Friends You Haven't Met Yet" tagline, Lewis Black should have just turned away from the adorable little girl and addressed the camera, "Does she look like a kidnapper to you? Come to Aruba!" because that's the not-so-subtle point of this Aruban friends campaign.


But the Lewis Black curmudgeon on the beach commercials aren't the worst part. If you live in New York City, you've seen Aruba's dubious, relentless happiness plastered all over the subway, turning several cars into torture chambers where the walls are slowly closing in on you, the smiles of your new Aruban friends inching ever closer like sharp spikes.

Like this guy:


What does he want with you anyhow? Why is he so eager to become your friend, hmm? Who wants to make 90,000 friends on vacation to begin with?

Or this guy:


"Just look at all these cacti! There's a huge national park! So many places to hide a body..er, whoops! I meant, the burrowing owl has so many places to hide. We have so many owls!"

Then there's these kids, who were clearly on their way to a Bennetton ad when Aruba handed them a couple of surfboards:


"Kidnapping? Nope. Don't know anything about that. The windsurfing and steel-drumming are great in Aruba, though!"

They might as well just pass out "Non-threatening Friend" t-shirts for every Aruban to wear at all times. It would be just as effective and probably cheaper.