The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and Expedia Media Solutions Use Custom-Built Facial Recognition Software to Create Personalized Travel Marketing Campaign

“Discover Your Aloha” Campaign Measures Facial Responses to Drone-Captured Video Footage and Inspires Travelers to Visit Hawai‘i

Bellevue, Wash., September 26, 2016– Expedia® Media Solutions, the advertising sales division of Expedia, Inc., and The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (The HTA), tourism agency for the State of Hawai‘i, today announced the launch of a new global marketing campaign, ‘Discover Your Aloha,’ to promote travel to the Hawaiian Islands through a custom solution featuring facial recognition technology. The first time that Expedia Media Solutions has integrated facial recognition software into a partner marketing campaign, the technology measures viewers’ reactions as they engage with the video content showcasing the beauty and unique cultural elements of the Hawaiian Islands.

On the ‘Discover Your Aloha’ microsite, users are exposed to video content featuring drone footage, that represent a guide of spiritual significance to Hawaiian culture, including ‘Iwa (Bird): Hawai‘i’s all-knowing guide; He‘e (Octopus): Hawai‘i’s loving spirit; Pua‘a (Pig): Hawai‘i’s bold adventurer. As the video plays, the bespoke facial recognition software, developed specifically for this campaign by digital agency Realise, identifies which footage evokes the most positive reaction from the viewer. The facial recognition algorithm identifies the personal preferences of each viewer and produces a customized travel recommendation aligned with one of the three Hawai‘i guides. Users then have the opportunity to book a personalized Hawai‘i vacation package with discounts of up to 50 percent, including exclusive offers from dozens of participating local hotels.

“Discover Your Aloha is the first campaign where we integrated facial recognition software, and is an example of the type of innovation we can bring, at scale with our global audience, to our marketing partners,” said Noah Tratt, senior global vice president of Expedia Media Solutions. “The campaign was custom designed and built for The HTA, from start to finish, as a unique way to inspire, inform and incite travel to the Hawaiian Islands.”

The year-long campaign is designed to generate awareness and increase incremental demand to the Hawaiian Islands and uses innovative technology and inspirational content as a way to connect with travelers—especially millennial audiences—while remaining competitive. To complement the microsite, Hawai‘i travel guides will host takeovers of Expedia’s social channels, including Instagram and Snapchat, throughout the year to share new, seasonal and behind-the-scenes content. These takeovers will help the coveted millennial audience discover their ideal Hawai‘i experience, and increase awareness for the destination’s one-of-a-kind culture and geography.

“Through this innovative technology, Expedia Media Solutions has helped us to further distinguish Hawai‘i as an incomparable destination by bringing to life and personalizing the distinct culture and magnificent geography that set us apart from other destinations,” said Randy Baldemor, chief operating officer of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. “In keeping with our vision to make greater, more effective use of technology to promote Hawai’i, the drone-shot video footage and facial recognition software allows travel consumers to discover the qualities they find most appealing and inspire them to book a trip to the Hawaiian Islands.”

The campaign functions across desktop and mobile devices, and targets consumers across the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand with display advertising on Expedia,, Orbitz, Travelocity and Wotif points of sale. The video footage was produced by creative agency Mustache, with the help of FX Group, a local Hawai‘i photo and video production company, and Sky’s the Limit, an aerial photography and videography company. The facial recognition software was developed by digital agency Realise. For more information visit:

About The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is responsible for strategically managing the State of Hawai‘i’s marketing initiatives to support tourism. The HTA’s goal is to optimize tourism’s benefits for Hawai‘i, while being attentive to the interests of travelers, the community and visitor industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawai‘i’s leading industry and largest employer, The HTA continually strives to help ensure the sustainability of tourism’s success. For more information, visit Follow updates about The HTA on Facebook, Twitter (@HawaiiHTA) and its YouTube Channel.

About Expedia Media Solutions
Formed in 2007, Expedia Media Solutions is dedicated to building online and offline media partnerships for travel and non-travel brand advertisers and to enable them to leverage the unique media value of Expedia’s network of leading travel brands and global points of sale. Expedia Media Solutions is a division of Expedia, Inc. For more information, visit

About Expedia, Inc.

Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) is the world’s largest online travel company, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes leading online travel brands, such as:

  •®, a leading full service online travel company with localized sites in 33 countries
  •®, a preeminent global lodging expert operating in more than 65 countries and 35 languages with its award winning® Rewards loyalty program
  • Orbitz Worldwide, including leading U.S. travel websites and, as well as ebookers, a full service travel brand with websites in seven European countries
  • Expedia® Affiliate Network (EAN), a global B2B business that powers the hotel business of leading airlines, top consumer brands, online travel agencies and thousands of other partners through its API and template solutions
  • trivago®, a leading online hotel search with sites in 55 countries worldwide
  • HomeAway®, a global online marketplace for the vacation rental industry, which also includes the VRBO, and brands, among others
  • Travelocity®, a leading online travel brand in the U.S. and Canada delivering customer service when and where our customers need it with the Customer 1st Guarantee
  • Hotwire®, inspiring spontaneous travel through Hot Rate® deals
  • Expedia® Media Solutions, the advertising sales division of Expedia, Inc. that builds media partnerships and enables brand advertisers to target a highly-qualified audience of travel consumers
  • Classic Vacations®, a top luxury travel specialist
  •, a premier online car rental booking company with localized sites in 13 countries
  • Expedia Local Expert®, a provider of online and in-market concierge services, activities, experiences and ground transportation in hundreds of destinations worldwide
  •™, an online hotel reservation specialist in Europe
  • Expedia® CruiseShipCenters®, a provider of exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of over 220 retail travel agency franchises across North America

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