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Video is still one of the major growth areas in online marketing.

Less developmental than emergent arenas like virtual reality or location intelligence, video represents a powerful medium that brands already easily grasp.

By 2019, Cisco estimates that consumer internet video traffic will make up 80% of all consumer internet traffic.

So, it makes sense that marketers are still focused on video as an invaluable source of traffic and sales. 

As competition continues to grow, we see more interactive and imaginative advertising year on year, and it’s becoming clear that advertising is now more integrated.

Looking at the travel industry, we can find some excellent ideas that are a cut above.

And for more on this topic, read about 12 insanely beautiful travel and leisure websites or book yourself onto the Video Marketing Strategy Training Course.

The trouble with travel

Travel brands have a double-edged sword of unique opportunities and problems in their search to attract holidaymakers.

Everyone enjoys a holiday, but there is an incredible amount of competition and content out there vying for consumer attention.

That’s why many brands are experimenting with innovative concepts, interactive videos, and integrated campaigns to discover new opportunities.

When they find a message or a medium that communicates something over and above a daydream of a week in the sun, we should sit up and take notice. 

Today, we’ve collated seven excellent examples of travel brands that used innovation, interactivity or integration in their adverts. Take a look and see if any of them provide inspiration for your marketing in 2016.

1. S7 Airlines (2015)

Sometimes, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel for an ad campaign. The “Imagine” advert for S7 Airlines added a creative twist to the traditional concept of displaying stunning scenery for consumers to see. 

In the video, a group of Russian children are told, “Let’s say you can go to any place you imagine. What would this world look like?”

The kids give a range of fantastical answers, from space rockets and mermaids to underwater whales and chocolate lakes.

The creative twist is delivered as the children’s answers are replayed over scenery that corresponds with their fantastical answers – mermaids are translated as scuba divers, and underwater whales are geysers.

It’s a simple and effective way to connect child-like wonder and imagination with the natural beauty that is all over the world.

And the closing hook – “Fly to any place you can imagine” – tells the viewer that their only limitation is their imagination.

2. JetBlue (2015)

In the “Recurring Dream” campaign, the focus shifts from the imagination to the real, via a CGI animation.

A pigeon flies over the city, talking about a “recurring dream where I enjoy flying”, listing off factors such as stretching room, ample food, and a welcome feeling.

But then the pigeon returns to reality and laments “Being treated with dignity? Yeah, right!”

Finally, the ad cuts to a JetBlue stewardess pouring a saucer of water, before seguing to a list of JetBlue USPs including “Most Awarded Customer Service” and “Most Legroom In Coach”.

As a low-cost airline, JetBlue promotes its brand on social proof (awards) and the hook of an everyman animated pigeon who just wants to be treated with some dignity.

With the focus on service and the journey, it’s very different to S7’s focus on imagination and destination, but it’s no less effective in making a connection with viewers.

3. Hotels.com (2014)

This simple and effective campaign offers classic comedy in the form of “Captain Obvious”.

The central character, likely inspired by the internet meme of the same name, makes blindingly obvious statements such as “Watch more videos of me by clicking on another one of my videos”.

The connected underlying theme is that Hotels.com is the only choice for finding hotels. 

Interactive units offer a simple UX, with the choice of clicking through to more related comedy adverts or opting to navigate directly to the company website.

The setup offers an uncomplicated and smooth customer journey that doesn’t overload the user with choices but keeps things simple.

4. First Choice (2015)

The central concept of First Choice’s video campaign is “Life is too short to say no”.

The carpe diem hook makes a powerful argument for users to take a dream trip – as if most people need prompting in this area!

The integrated campaign page brings together diverse strands including interactive elements, and a prize giveaway.

In the video a woman abandons her everyday activities in pursuit of a “Heart’s Desire” ice cream van. During the resulting journey, her actions take her to a dream holiday in a tropical paradise.

Keep an eye out for the animated ice cream van graphic – this interactive feature takes the user through to a free prize giveaway with one click. Resultantly, the viewer can turn their holiday dream into a reality as well.

By combining the interactive element with a sense of urgency, via a 30-second countdown, the campaign encourages data submission that provides a strong springboard for a supplementary email marketing campaign.

Plus, you have to love the soundtrack by The Who.

5. Turkish Airlines (2013)

Invest on Board is a targeted video campaign about targeted video campaigns.

The central product is an advertising opportunity that allows startups to make video pitches to potential investors while they are flying on Turkish Airlines.

It’s a fairly simple concept: businessmen are frequently very busy with work and personal commitments, but the one time they will not be distracted by phone calls is during a business flight.

Invest on Board therefore gives an entrepreneur a prime position to sell their idea via a video proposal.

The simple elegance of this campaign is in the product placement and integration. The businessman in the advert is presented in a luxurious, distraction-free environment with executive class food and a spacious seat that has an inbuilt audio-visual media suite.

In essence, it is an advert within an advert. With social integration exclusively via a LinkedIn page, the target market is focused with precision.

By marrying entrepreneurial spirit with innovation and technological nous, Turkish Airlines presents itself as a distinctive and contemporary brand in the executive travel market. 

6. Silja Line (2015)

It’s an age-old problem: how do you introduce someone to a concept that they are already heavily familiar with?

Silja Line uses its interactive campaign to re-acquaint Swedes and Finns with the beauty of the Baltic Sea. 

Project Rediscovery achieves this aim by literally helping its Scandinavian customer base to see the Baltic through “new eyes”.

The video introduces us to three professional photographers, from Argentina, Japan and the USA. They are sent on a cruise liner’s maiden voyage and tasked with capturing the inspiration offered by the Nordic scenery.

To further engage the Finnish and Swedish target market, one of the photographers oversees a four-week competition in which amateur snappers can submit cruise pictures in the hope of winning a free trip.

Promoted via video and the website, this is an innovative way to reward loyalty and also crowdsource footage of the cruises to showcase the stunning scenery available on each trip.

7. Expedia (2014)

The “Santa Flies Coach” campaign is a terrific example of how advertising can change the world for the better. It combines Christmas spirit and charity with genuinely emotive scenes and a sense of social responsibility.

In the video, we follow Santa around the globe over seven days and more than 19,000 air miles. He travels from the North Pole to Memphis, Tennessee, via a diverse range of countries including Japan, Dubai and Ireland.

At his final destination, he drops off presents to some very brave and deserving kids at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

At the advert’s conclusion, Santa donates his Expedia+ reward points – that he has clocked up during more than 49 hours of flight time – to the hospital.

Over and above this, Expedia then offers viewers the chance to get into the Christmas spirit by donating their points to the hospital as well – presumably once they’ve stopped gently sobbing!

What do you think?

Do you have any travel advertising videos that you think are worthy of some recognition? Post your favourites below and tell us why you like them.

Farooq Bhatti

Published 14 January, 2016 by Farooq Bhatti

Farooq Bhatti is a local search specialist at Caliber. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

5 more posts from this author

Comments (2)

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Clare Benson, Senior Account Manager at Brickwall

Brickwall created this film for the Air Transport Action Group and had A LOT of fun filming at Heathrow. It's an interesting topic, looking at how vital air transport is to the global economy and the steps the industry is taking towards sustainability.
https://vimeo.com/100232202

I also really like Santa flying coach!

6 months ago

Barry Fleming

Barry Fleming, Senior Marketing Manager at Personal

Pick of this crop for me is - S7 Airlines. Glimpsing our world re-imagined through the eyes of children in a way that makes you want to explore it! And Santa hats off to Expedia but I'm not sure it beats "WestJets' Christmas Miracle real-time giving" (44.7m youtube views) of 2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIEIvi2MuEk

But BA really show the power of storytelling and inspire people to travel for sometimes the most fundamental of human emotions; to be with loved ones! See 'a ticket for Mum' here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPcfJuk1t8s

6 months ago

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