Thrifty Car Rental


Social Media Engagements

+1.5 million



Thrifty creates unique and engaging social media campaign with help from the extensive audience reach of Travelocity’s Roaming Gnome.

The Opportunity

Thrifty Car Rental, a global company, has a strong history of running traditional display media campaigns. Wanting to try something new, they saw an opportunity to extend their audience reach and get “out of the box” with a campaign that combined the social media following of the Roaming Gnome with the brand power of the state of Texas.

The Solution

To help Thrifty create a unique campaign and showcase its versatility as a vacation planning and booking brand, the digital media experts at Expedia Group Media Solutions suggested working with Travelocity’s Roaming Gnome in the first ever campaign between a car rental company and the Roaming Gnome as one key element of a larger campaign. The social media portion of the campaign leveraged the Gnome’s devoted fanbase thereby expanding the audience and sent the Gnome on a great adventure.

Nothing says adventure like a quirky, meandering road trip through the iconic state of Texas. So, off the Gnome went, galivanting around the Lone Star state. The Gnome’s fans, known as Gnomads, tracked his adventure via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. As he bopped around the state from the Alamo to the slightly lesser-known Leaning Tower of Texas, the campaign promoted his social media posts via onsite banner ads to help drive engagement. 

The larger campaign consisted of display advertising and a dedicated landing page. The ads capitalized on the road trip theme with phrases like “Road Trip Ready,” while also offering visitors great deals on car rentals. Likewise, followers of the Gnome’s journey could click on advertisements that delivered them to the dedicated landing page. The landing page featured special deals and prices for car rentals and had a section for the “The Ultimate Texas Road Trip” itinerary. With enticing images of Texas landmarks, recommendations of unique places to eat, and information about attractions, the itinerary element helped visitors envision their own Gnome-like excursion through Texas and ultimately drove bookings for Thrifty.

The Results

The Gnome’s travels generated nearly 106,000 engagements through social media channels alone. In total, the Gnome’s adventures with Thrifty Car Rental generated nearly 1.5 million impressions. Additional campagin compoenents generated many millions of additional impressions, which, in combination with the Roaming Gnome, helped to position Thrifty Car Rental as a prime trip planner and car rental site for their target markets.

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