10 examples of great travel marketing campaigns
In order to attract more customers, some travel companies take advantage of movies and social media, some launch new initiatives, giving customers surprise.
1. The Airbnb Guidebooks
Airbnb launched guidebooks on its website and app this week, as part of its 'Live there' campaign.
What's great about them is that every host can create one, meaning there are thousands of personal tour guides across Airbnb's network, and anyone who has signed up can access each of these guides.
Airbnb has also produced some city guidebooks, which are aggregated highlights from hosts' personal guides.
Take London for example. A lot of Airbnb hosts reside in East London (where a lot of young creatives live).
That means that Hackney is fairly prominent in the London recommendations.
Six of the 10 things to do are in Hackney, including the top three (Columbia Road Flower Market, Broadway Market, London Fields Lido).
2. HostelWorld's Alan Partridge tribute
For anyone who has never watched Alan Partridge, there was a particularly famous scene where Steve Coogan's character was pitching ideas for new TV shows.
Of all the ideas (Monkey Tennis, Cooking in Prison etc.), Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank was one of the most absurd.
For years, Chris Eubank didn't really understand why the public kept asking him about this. The boxer often sounded bemused on Twitter.
But then, 18 years later, HostelWorld decided to create this show as a marketing exercise.
3. This Southwest Airlines flight attendant
This video does have 22m views at time of writing.
The airline regularly ranks highly (as far as airlines go) in brand reputation rankings and sees a high level of customer loyalty.
4. SNCF Europe - it's just next door
In 2013, SNCF wanted to promote its rail services between European countries, highlighting the proximity of many destinations on the mainland.
It did this with doorways that revealed LED screens broadcasting another major European city, allowing people to envisage stepping into another country.
5. LateRooms Magic Makers
The campaign was very simple. Choose some customers and surprise them with a tailored gift, either after their trip or when they reach their destination.
The beauty of LateRooms' approach in 2015 is that the blogging community is so vast, the company could bank on more than just a Facebook post or Tweet.
6. HomeAway's anti-Airbnb TV spot
Airbnb is the elephant in the room when it comes to marketing most hoteliers.
HomeAway is similar to Airbnb, except guests rent entire homes (without a host in sight).
The company wanted to make a virtue of this difference, and it does so in a humorous way.
7. Virgin America's playful website
I wrote a long blog post about how much fun it is to use. Go check it out.
8. Visit Britain's GREAT campaign
The four-year, £100m campaign has focused on culture, heritage, sport, music, countryside, food and shopping.
A pre- and post-2012 Olympics push was also key to the ongoing campaign. The video below shows some of the many highlights.
9. Airbnb's Hollywood Vine
A competition offered a trip to the Sundance Film Festival for lucky Viners who sent in something creative about their trip.
All in all, it was this kind of activity that set Airbnb apart as an engaged, thoughtful brand, not just a great platform.
10. Thomas Cook uses virtual reality
It's not just Thomas Cook, but British airways, too, that have trialled virtual reality to give prospective customers a taste of a destination.
Surely, the brand has reaped the reward already.
Next step is the development of 12 360-degree films showcasing various cities, to expand the experience and offer customers a taste of a range of destinations.
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