Top 10 Travel Marketing Campaigns & Innovations
Traveling is more than just a leisure activity; it's a massive global industry that contributes over $9 trillion to the world's economy. The competition among travel companies, airlines, and destinations is fierce, and standing out in the crowded market requires innovation and creativity. In this landscape, marketing campaigns have become vital tools for capturing attention and driving consumer behavior. From social media strategies to television commercials, successful campaigns have not only influenced travel decisions but also shaped travel trends and culture.
According to a recent study by the World Travel & Tourism Council, the right marketing campaign can increase destination visits by up to 20%. This has led to a surge in investment in creative and engaging campaigns that resonate with potential travelers. Some of the most iconic campaigns have transcended traditional marketing, turning into cultural phenomena, and inspiring a new wave of wanderlust. This article highlights the top 10 travel marketing campaigns that have done just that, analyzing the strategies and impact that put them ahead of the pack.
Top 10 Travel Marketing Campaigns
Campaign 10: "Get Out There" - Kayak
Kayak's "Get Out There" campaign aimed to inspire wanderlust among its audience. Through vibrant visuals, the ads showcased breathtaking destinations, from serene beaches to bustling cityscapes. Each advertisement carried a clear message – the world is vast, and every place holds a new experience waiting to be uncovered. The digital-first campaign was embedded with interactive tools: a user could click on an ad and immediately be led to flight and hotel options for the showcased destination.
Kayak's "Get Out There" campaign was a bold statement in the increasingly digital world of travel planning. By implementing an aggressive multi-channel strategy that reached over 20 million users, Kayak achieved a 12% increase in app downloads within the first quarter of the campaign's launch.
- Social Media Blitz: With targeted ads across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, they reached the millennial demographic, seeing a 30% growth in social media engagement.
- Influencer Partnerships: Collaboration with travel influencers provided authentic voices that resonated with potential travelers, resulting in a 15% increase in user-generated content tagged with their campaign hashtag.
- Interactive Website Features: A special landing page offered personalized travel suggestions, driving an 18% increase in site visits.
Campaign 9: "Travel Yourself Interesting" - Expedia
Expedia’s campaign took a playful and humorous angle. The core message was simple: Traveling makes you a more interesting person. Ads featured individuals recounting bland, everyday experiences, juxtaposed with their far more intriguing travel tales. One memorable ad showed a man boring his friends with tales of his lawn maintenance, only to later captivate them with stories of his trek in the Amazon Rainforest.
Expedia's "Travel Yourself Interesting" campaign became a sensation for its humorous take on self-improvement, leading to a 10% growth in global bookings during the campaign period.
- Television Commercials: The humorous ads were broadcasted in key markets, reaching an estimated audience of 50 million, with a 20% increase in brand recall.
- Digital Engagement: Interactive online quizzes and social media challenges contributed to a 25% spike in website traffic.
- Partnership with Travel Bloggers: Engaging bloggers added credibility and a personal touch, resulting in a wider reach and deeper connection with the target audience.
Campaign 8: "The Airbnb Concerts" - Airbnb
Airbnb wanted to emphasize that travel isn’t just about where you stay, but what you experience. This campaign married unique Airbnb accommodations with intimate live music performances. Think of a jazz concert in a historic New Orleans mansion or an indie rock performance in a sleek Tokyo loft. The campaign was about moments and memories, providing travelers not just a place to sleep but an experience to cherish.
Airbnb's "The Airbnb Concerts" was a revolutionary campaign that bridged the gap between travel, music, and community. Over 100 unique concerts were held in various Airbnb locations around the world, leading to a 40% increase in bookings among the participating properties.
- Live Concert Experiences: Hosting concerts in unusual Airbnb venues, such as treehouses and lofts, created unforgettable experiences, selling out 95% of the events.
- Social Media Engagement: Videos and photos from the concerts were shared widely, generating over 5 million views on YouTube and trending hashtags on Twitter.
- Influencer Participation: Collaboration with famous musicians and influencers added prestige and drew substantial media attention, reaching an estimated 60 million people through various channels.
Campaign 7: "Do it for Denmark" - Spies Travels
With Denmark experiencing a declining birth rate, Spies Travels crafted a cheeky and bold campaign suggesting that Danes should travel more to romantic destinations to boost their chances of conceiving. The campaign videos humorously implied that being in a relaxed vacation mode away from the daily grind might lead to increased intimacy among couples, and thus, increase the country's birth rate.
Spies Travels' bold and unconventional "Do it for Denmark" campaign focused on Denmark's low birth rate, cleverly encouraging couples to travel and procreate. This campaign's success was reflected in:
- Media Coverage: Featured in over 300 international media outlets, generating buzz worth millions in free advertising.
- Sales Growth: A 10% increase in holiday bookings within the campaign period, especially in romantic travel packages.
- Viral Video: The campaign video was viewed over 10 million times on YouTube in the first month alone.
- Awards and Recognition: The campaign won several marketing awards, establishing Spies Travels as a creative leader in the industry.
Campaign 6: "Unborder" - Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
The "Unborder" campaign showcased the power of travel to transcend boundaries, be they physical, cultural, or psychological. Using visually stunning videos and images, SAS celebrated the global citizen's mindset. Scenes showcased diverse landscapes and cultures, intertwined with travelers from various backgrounds meeting, sharing moments, and understanding one another's worlds.
SAS's "Unborder" campaign celebrated cultural diversity and connectivity, aiming to break down borders in both a literal and metaphorical sense.
- Emotional Resonance: Surveys showed a 25% increase in positive brand perception among those exposed to the campaign.
- Global Reach: Multi-language content ensured an international reach, connecting with audiences in over 30 countries.
- Influence on Travel Patterns: The campaign contributed to a 7% growth in international flight bookings through SAS.
- Social Media Engagement: User-generated content and shared stories reached over 5 million social media users, strengthening community engagement.
Campaign 5: "Spend Your Days Off" - Project: Time Off
Addressing the widespread issue of burnout and the tendency of many individuals, especially in high-pressure jobs, to skip vacations, this campaign was a clarion call to prioritize well-being. Using a mix of stark statistics about unused vacation days and heartwarming content showing families and individuals rejuvenating through travel, the campaign's central message was clear: Time off is essential, not just a luxury.
The "Spend Your Days Off" campaign from Project: Time Off tackled a significant societal issue, encouraging people to value their vacation time and prioritize well-being.
- Impact on Public Opinion: The campaign reached over 100 million people, contributing to a shift in public opinion about the importance of taking time off.
- Partnerships with Major Brands: Collaboration with several travel and lifestyle brands increased the campaign’s visibility, contributing to a 15% increase in associated travel package sales.
- Social Media Activism: Through hashtags and viral challenges, the campaign mobilized social media users, generating over 1 million shares and comments.
- Research Integration: By incorporating research data on work-life balance, the campaign positioned itself as an authoritative voice, leading to numerous mentions in major media outlets.
Campaign 4: "You’re Not You When You're Hungry" - Snickers Australia
A delightful twist on Snickers' global campaign message, the Australian edition juxtaposed the idea of being 'hungry and irritable' with the fatigue of long travels. Strategically placed in airports and travel hubs, ads humorously showcased how hunger could transform a calm traveler into a frantic, disoriented mess, suggesting that a Snickers bar could save the day.
Travelers, already familiar with the global "You're Not You When You're Hungry" slogan, appreciated the localized twist and situational humor. The relatability of being hungry and irritable during travels struck a chord.
- Location-specific Advertising: By targeting travelers at airports, Snickers saw a 15% increase in sales within these locations during the campaign.
- Social Media Impact: Shareable content reached 2 million online engagements within the first two weeks.
- Brand Alignment: Maintained Snickers' global campaign message, resulting in a 10% rise in brand recognition among the travel audience.
Campaign 3: "Live There" - Airbnb
Instead of being a mere tourist, Airbnb's "Live There" campaign invited travelers to live like locals. It showcased real Airbnb hosts sharing genuine experiences with guests — from cooking together to exploring hidden neighborhood gems. The campaign was a departure from cliched travel ads, focusing on authentic local interactions over touristy hotspots.
Airbnb's "Live There" encouraged travelers to immerse in local cultures, shifting focus from accommodations to experiences.
- User Engagement: The campaign’s app features increased user interaction by 20%, enabling travelers to customize their experiences.
- Global Reach: Spanned 18 different markets, contributing to a 12% increase in international bookings.
- Media Partnerships: Collaborations with travel magazines and influencers created a 25% uplift in media coverage and online discussions about Airbnb's experiential travel offerings.
Campaign 2: "Shot on iPhone 6" - Apple
Apple showcased the powerful camera of its iPhone 6, not through technical jargon, but by spotlighting stunning user-generated travel photos taken on the device. Billboards, print ads, and digital campaigns proudly displayed these images with the caption "Shot on iPhone 6," turning everyday users into celebrated photographers.
Apple's "Shot on iPhone 6" brilliantly transformed travel photography, showcasing breathtaking landscapes captured on the iPhone.
- User-generated Content: Over 10,000 user submissions in the first month, creating a vast community of iPhone photographers.
- Sales Impact: A 9% increase in iPhone 6 sales was attributed directly to the campaign during its running period.
- Awards and Recognition: Several accolades for marketing excellence affirm Apple's position as an innovator in both technology and marketing.
- Influence on Industry: The campaign set a trend in mobile photography, with other brands following suit.
Campaign 1: "It's More Fun in the Philippines" - Department of Tourism Philippines
This vibrant campaign used catchy slogans, colorful visuals, and infectious local music to promote the Philippines as a top travel destination. It showcased everything from the country's pristine beaches and natural wonders to its rich cultural festivities and the warmth of its people.
The slogan "It's More Fun in the Philippines" became an anthem for both locals and travelers. It captured the heart of what the Philippines offers — an unparalleled blend of beauty, culture, and hospitality. The country saw a significant surge in tourist arrivals, rejuvenating local businesses and attractions. The slogan found its way onto merchandise, social media trends, and even local parlance, truly marking the campaign's success in engraining itself into the global traveler's psyche.
- Tourism Growth: A staggering 20% increase in international tourist arrivals in the year following the campaign's launch.
- Economic Impact: An estimated $1 billion boost to the local economy, benefiting various sectors tied to tourism.
- Social Media Virality: The hashtag #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines trended worldwide, with over 5 million uses on various platforms.
- Cultural Promotion: The campaign promoted local culture and natural beauty, creating a sustainable and responsible tourism model.
Break away from the common marketing tactics: Try Stories
One look at the top travel campaigns we've explored showcases a truth that cannot be ignored: individuality is a cornerstone of successful marketing. From Airbnb emphasizing local experiences to the vibrant charm of Philippine adventures, brands that present a unique, authentic message are the ones that resonate most powerfully with audiences.
As a brand, how do you craft a message that stands out in a saturated market? It's about making it personal. And in the digital age, personalization comes from interactive, engaging, and relatable content.
Try Mobile App Stories from InAppStories! We take your user engagement and essential mobile metrics under control with our digital toolkit. But why does this matter for travel marketing?
- Immersive Experiences: Showcase your destinations with full-screen visuals and engaging narratives. Let your potential travelers experience a 'sneak peek' of their journey right from their mobile devices.
- Real-Time Engagement: With features like polls, sliders, and quizzes, you can gauge traveler preferences instantly. Want to know if they prefer beach holidays over mountain trekking? Just ask!
- Tailored Recommendations: Using the engagement data, offer personalized travel packages or deals that cater to individual preferences. If a user frequently interacts with beach holiday stories, send them a special offer on a seaside resort package!
- User-Generated Content: Encourage travelers to share their experiences through Stories within your app. There’s nothing more convincing than real travelers sharing authentic experiences.
- Stay Updated: Travel advisories, new destination launches, or special discounts – share time-sensitive information instantly through Stories.
InAppStory doesn’t just allow you to share content; it empowers you to create a dialogue, making your marketing efforts a two-way street. By leveraging this powerful tool, your travel brand can achieve a unique voice, one that listens as much as it speaks. Try them now and see how your mobile or web app will change.