This week at explore ’18, we presented our annual Partner Awards to campaigns launched in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, and South America that demonstrate ground-breaking innovation, originality and success in travel marketing and advertising. The winning campaigns include:
North America Airline Campaign of the Year: Hawaiian Airlines
Looking to increase market share from its North American airport hubs to New Zealand’s Auckland Airport, Hawaiian Airlines, with support from Mastercard and Auckland Airport, collaborated with Expedia Group Media Solutions on an integrated digital campaign that promoted travel to Auckland. In addition to offering shoppers a Mastercard gift card after booking travel to Auckland, the campaign incorporated display advertising across all Expedia Group sites in the U.S., email marketing, and Passport Ads to reach potential travelers. The campaign generated significant results, including a more than 20 percent year-over-year increase in passenger demand between Hawai’i and Auckland and nearly 40 percent year-over-year increase between the U.S. and Auckland.
North America Destination Campaign of the Year: Tourism Australia
As part of their Dundee Super Bowl campaign Tourism Australia worked with Expedia Group Media Solutions on a campaign that would position Australia as a top destination for American travelers, help shift consideration among competitive destinations, and drive conversion. Designed to reach and engage the vast Expedia.com audience in the U.S., the “An Australian Adventure” campaign microsite featured a dynamic content mix that showcased Australia’s unique landmarks and landscape, welcoming people, nature and wildlife, and food and wine, and helped potential visitors plan and book their perfect trip to Australia. To help increase the destination’s overall presence online, the campaign was also supported by four participating state partners: Tourism Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and Visit Victoria. Running over an eight-week period between March and May 2018, the campaign resulted in a nearly 30 percent year-over-year increase in interest by Americans for travel to Australia.
North America TravelAds Campaign of the Year: G6 Hospitality
G6 Hospitality worked with Expedia Group Media Solutions to drive exposure for its network of more than 1,400 properties across North America. The program featured a two-pronged strategy that included awareness-building and broad reach through display advertising and TravelAds sponsored listings, targeted to travelers at the point of booking across multiple regions in the U.S. These initiatives generated more than 215 million impressions, successfully extending the hotel brand’s reach and exceeding the campaign’s room night demand and revenue targets by nearly 20 percent year-over-year.
Latin America Most Innovative Campaign of the Year: Palace Resorts
To stand out among competitors in the luxury resort market, Palace Resorts, the leader in the luxury all-inclusive market, worked with Expedia Group Media Solutions to create an innovative and dynamic campaign that would connect with potential travelers in a highly personalized and engaging way, and inspire them to plan their perfect vacation at any of the resort brand’s 10 oceanfront properties in Mexico and Jamaica. Brought to life on a custom microsite that featured bespoke eye-tracking software, the “Never Lift a Finger” campaign took visitors through a visual series of activities and amenities offered at the resorts, and provided a recommended resort and itinerary based on which content users paid attention to the most, based on the direction of their gaze. As of September 2018, the campaign has produced a 19:1 ROAS and resulted in over 36,000 page views, 16,000 sessions and more than nine million impressions.
Latin America Hotel Campaign of the Year: POSADAS
As Mexico’s largest hotel operator, POSADAS has over 140 hotels throughout the country, providing visitors with an abundance of hotel and resort options to accommodate a wide variety of desired travel experiences. To illustrate the strength of its brand portfolio and drive awareness and bookings for its diverse range of properties, POSADAS collaborated with Expedia Group Media Solutions on a custom creative hotel campaign, the team’s first in the region. Through an interactive microsite that featured a unique content filtering functionality, users could craft their perfect Mexico getaway based on the type of travel experience they were looking for and were matched with a corresponding POSADAS hotel recommendation based on their selections. The multi-faceted campaign produced a 13:1 ROAS, generated a nearly 40 percent year over year growth in passenger demand and over 20 percent year over year growth in booking demand.
Latin America Destination Campaign of the Year: Consejo de Promocion Turistica de Quintana Roo
The Tourist Promotion Council of Quintana Roo was looking to highlight destinations in the region, including Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Grand Costa Maya and Cancun, as memorable and safe vacation spots for U.S. travelers. To ensure a steady stream of inspirational and informative destination content, campaign support included banner ads, social media, email marketing, Trip Discovery and an influencer program, resulting in positive performance and strong results to-date, including a 75:1 ROAS.
Latin America TravelAds Campaign of the Year: Playa Resorts
In 2017, Playa Resorts worked with Expedia Group Media Solutions on a TravelAds campaign to promote its luxury oceanfront properties and extend its reach to travel audiences. To further increase conversion for online room bookings and support promotional offerings, Playa Resorts expanded its previous TravelAds campaign to bolster its sale strategy in 2018. By strategically leveraging TravelAds throughout the year, Playa Resorts successfully increased room night demand by nearly 12 percent year-over-year and the campaign generated a ROAS of 15:1.
Central/South American Campaign of the Year: Instituto Guatemalteco de Turismo (INGUAT)
To highlight a variety of exciting regions throughout Guatemala and diversify travel within the country, INGUAT tapped Expedia Group Media Solutions to drive awareness of, and increase travel to, locations beyond the popular destinations of Guatemala City and Antigua. An interactive microsite helped potential visitors discover and immerse themselves in hidden Guatemalan gems, such as the Mayan Ruins of Petén and Huehuetenango and historical sites in Atitlan and Izabal, as well as plan and book a trip to these destinations. The campaign successfully delivered a nearly 15 percent increase year-over-year in passenger demand, nearly 10 percent increase year-over-year in room night demand, and an impressive 20 percent growth in overall demand to Guatemala from the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, and Germany.
Caribbean Campaign of the Year: Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. collaborated with Expedia Group Media Solutions to develop a culinary campaign that would inspire travelers and foodies to experience the country’s rich history and unique Bajan cuisine. Through a bespoke content hub, local island ambassadors, or “Experts of Awesome”, shared their favorite local attractions and culinary experiences, both showcasing the friendly spirit of the island and positioning Barbados as the culinary capital of the Caribbean. Within the first seven months, the “Barbados Year of Culinary Experiences 2018” campaign produced a ROAS of 45:1 and garnered more than 25 million impressions.
Global Car Rental Campaign of the Year: Thrifty Car Rental
In search of an out-of-the-box idea to showcase the brand as a go-to rental car company, Thrifty Car Rental worked with Expedia Group Media Solutions on the first car rental campaign that leveraged the brand power of the Travelocity Roaming Gnome. The “Roaming Gnome Road Trip” campaign included display advertising and social posts highlighting the Roaming Gnome’s adventure around Texas, driving shoppers to a dedicated landing page where they could discover and book car rentals, and explore the Roaming Gnome’s itinerary and travel recommendations in Texas. The campaign helped position Thrifty Car Rental as an ideal trip planner and car rental resource and generated more than 106,000 social media engagements and 1.5 million combined impressions across campaign placements.
North America Hotel Campaign of the Year: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
Inclement weather and a series of natural disasters, including two months of consistent lava flow from the Kilauea volcano eruption, led to an increase in trip cancellations and reduction in bookings to the island of Hawai’i. As part of Expedia Group’s initiative to support tourism and help hotel partners with recovery efforts during times of need, Expedia Group Media Solutions worked with Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on a 2:1 media match campaign to drive bookings and encourage visitors to enjoy the resort’s beauty and luxury amenities, while also contributing to recovery efforts. Through a combination of market and competitive insights, special deals, display advertising, and TravelAds, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai saw significant increases in month-over-month bookings and outperformed both its competitive set and the overall market.
North America Most Innovative Campaign of the Year: Travel Texas
To challenge common misconceptions that Texas is all about cowboys and country music, Travel Texas and their advertising agency, Proof Advertising, collaborated with Expedia Group Media Solutions on a unique interactive campaign that encouraged U.S. travelers to take a virtual road trip across the state and experience the unexpected side of Texas. Powered by Twitter’s ‘Instant Unlock Card’ functionality, “Discover More Texas” engaged users through rich content and exclusive video clips tied to four travel themes, including family fun, food, outdoors, and city experiences – each revealed along a four-week digital journey. Users were encouraged to tweet the campaign hashtag, #DiscoverMoreTexas, to reveal exclusive content showcasing unexpected Texas experiences and a custom microsite displayed a real-time progress bar to further incentivize user engagement. The interactive campaign successfully engaged users, generating over 7,000 user sessions, more than 3,600 sweepstakes entries, and nearly 40,000 engagements across Twitter posts.
Year after year, we work with incredible advertising partners from around the world to engage travelers across our platform and look forward to continuing this work with forward-thinking digital marketers. You can see all of our Global Partner Award winners from 2018 and stay up to date on our latest news, research and case studies by subscribing to our blog here, or by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter.