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5 Brilliant Travel Brand Campaigns

Written by Rob | 14-Sep-2016 09:12:00

As customers ourselves, we can appreciate a great campaign even if it’s not one we’ve created. With the sunshine here and lots of us heading off on holidays (or just coming back from them!) talk has recently turned to a few of our favourite Travel campaigns. We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 to share with you.

The brands that made the cut have all done something slightly different, which is what made them stand out. From contextual targeting on TV to great pieces of video content, we’ve been impressed often at the simplicity of the idea but sophisticated set up, targeting or use of the platform that takes the campaign to the next level.

So grab five minutes (and a cocktail if you can!) and have a read of our shortlist. Please feel free to comment with your thoughts or share any other great campaigns you’ve spotted!

1. Airbnb

One of the first campaigns that came to mind when discussing great Travel campaigns has Airbnb’s Live There campaign – our favourite “sub-campaign” of which was the ‘Wall and chain’ campaign. This campaign celebrated the 25
th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with an objective to create global conversation around belonging. The campaign was delivered through an animated film which brought the story to life. This was supported by an economic impact study on Berlin to show how Airbnb travellers support the local economy and social media to drive awareness of the campaign. In addition a behind the scenes video to showcase the real family behind the animated film demonstrated how the story came to life as well as building a connection with the brand. The campaign generated 8 million views across social and digital channels.

The app, which is very simple to book a holiday, further reinforces the campaign message through personalisation and host created guidebooks.

Why we like it

This campaign made us want to live there!

What a fantastic idea, Airbnb are telling holidaymakers; don’t go there, live there. The campaign brings to life the experience of a holiday, promoting discovery, exploring and a sense of belonging around the world.

We often tell clients to build something that can scale to reach users at multiple touchpoints throughout their digital day. The Airbnb campaign has a combination of TV spots, digital, out of home and print creative to ensure the message scaled.

We also promote local marketing here at equimedia, just type in hotels into Google and you’ll see loads of local hotel listings and prices which demonstrates digital is becoming more local. Airbnb have created campaigns to support the ‘live there’ message with a local sell.

2. Eurostar

While there’s nothing new about Travel brands utilising Instagram to promote destinations, often this simple campaign from Eurostar turned the platform on its head - or should we say side! – and tried something new.

The campaign aims to promote the Eurostar trains from London to Paris and does this by splitting a single, long illustration of a journey from London to Paris in to 200 individual Instagram tile images. A number of images are videos that can be played and on top of that, some tiles will uncover hidden offers such as 2 for 1 tickets for partner museums.

Why we like it

The main thing we like is the simplicity of this campaign. This is “innovation with a small I” as we’d say. Eurostar have taken a platform and worked
with it. They understand how the platform works and is interacted with by users, and have played on that nicely.

While Eurostar aren’t the first brand to use Instagram – Ikea used the platform as a catalogue as a
microsite alternative back in 2014 – the interactive elements such as the video and the hidden offers take this campaign one step on. There could be further improvements such as sound to the video but as big Instagram fans here this is a campaign we loved.

3. Air New Zealand jets to Hollywood for its latest flight Safety Video

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We all know video is only continuing to grow in popularity, with
34% of us in the UK now accessing online video content daily. One brand investing in great, shareable video content is Air New Zealand.

Following on from the success of last year’s
All Black’s Safety Video in 2015, and The Hobbits in 2014, Air New Zealand has continued creating great video content this year with their take on the in flight safety video, teaming up with Hollywood stars Anna Farris and New Zealand native Rhys Darby in “Safety In Hollywood”

Air New Zealand are famous for the quirky takes on In flight safety videos. This year the video, directed by famous Kiwi Rhys Darby, runs through all the usual flight safety demonstrations while also working in some of Hollywood’s famous films, with a comedy spin. Shared across their social platforms, their website and YouTube channels, Air New Zealand are also maximising reach with the dedicated #AirNZSafetyVideo hashtag. Although there is no direct call to action with in the video, the piece is very good at driving brand awareness and a positive brand image.

Why we like it

Not only is the video itself a great bit of video content, Air New Zealand have clearly thought about the complete campaign. They have PPC and Display retargeting campaigns promoting flights to LA with Air New Zealand, following with the idea of “Hollywood” and communicating to potentially customers that Air New Zealand can get you there from anywhere in the world. 

4. Expedia

Expedia recently won an award for their Travel Yourself Interesting campaign which we thought was a great example of innovation in TV.

Expedia were looking to promote a number of their top – and higher value - destinations to an affluent audience. To do this they utilised a partnership with Sky to contextually target ads that featured facts about each of their key destinations. The ad spots appeared in amongst the top Drama, Sport and Movie programming on Sky TV channels.

So for example, a user watching the Bruce Willis in A Good Day to Die Hard on Sky Movies might see an Expedia ad with a fact such as “Did you know Budapest has more thermal springs that any other capital in the world?”

The call to action was an Expedia page on the Sky website, with the chance to win £100 of holiday vouchers.

Why we like it

The contextual target is the clever bit here. By planning ahead and aligning Expedia’s top destinations with Sky’s top TV shows there was a subtle synergy that resonated with the viewers. We also think the campaign tagline – Travel Yourself Interesting – is strong and ties in well with the use of facts featured in the ads.

At equimedia we are advocated of contextual targeting and utilise it across online platforms with huge success for a number of clients. Seeing it here in a TV environment, although not dynamically created, is a great example of how this technique can be used successfully in an above the line scenario.

5. Thomas Cook

Sometimes all it takes is a catchy song and a shark costume to get us excited!

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TV ad from Thomas Cook was one of our favourite ads of the year, whether from a Travel brand or not! The ad features a little boy with a fake shark fin, dragging his mum to the pool early to dance his heart out and jump in the pool. The strapline for the ad was “Be Brave. You’re on holiday”. One of the best parts of the ad was the original music Thomas Cook had created which, due to popular demand, was released as a download on Sound Cloud. As well as the TV ad the brand invested in cinema advertising, Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) and Virtual Reality experiences.

Why we like it

With this example, we particularly liked the timing of the campaign, making sure there was maximum exposure for the new creative and Brand.

The TV ad premiered during Text Santa, and then launched fully on Boxing Day, one of the key times of year for holiday searching here in the UK;

Source: Google Trends

The cinema ad launch was planned to coincide with the Star Wars midnight screening on 17
th December and they supported the launch with a blog post on 16th, cleverly tying in the Star Wars theme, with 7 reasons why Star Wars Rules the Galaxy at Christmas. They also commissioned illustrations of Star Wars characters and ships into photography of film locations for their Travel Magazine:

Overall, a really well timed campaign making the most of the natural interest over Christmas and some of the key big screen moments over that period.

Other posts in this travel series