To capitalize on Finland’s geographical beauty, their destination marketing organization, Visit Finland, sought to raise awareness of various landscapes by attracting travelers to Finland’s less visited regions—especially a region called Lakeland—during the summer season: all while maintaining their status as a leading wintertime destination.
Expedia Group Media Solutions devised a digital media campaign that had three broad components: pre-campaign data analysis; a conversion tactic; and a brand awareness initiative. This comprehensive approach began with pre-campaign data insights, which mined Expedia, Inc.’s first-party search and booking data to set informed campaign tactics. The data showed that extending their reach into Finland’s longstanding feeder markets of Hong Kong, Japan, Britain, and the U.S. was critical as travelers from these markets were searching for Finland, but ultimately booking more frequently to other Scandinavian countries. Therefore, the campaign targeted audiences in those markets by advertising on the following branded sites: Expedia.co.jp, Expedia.com.hk, Expedia.co.uk and Expedia.com.
As a compelling and direct response to their competitors, the campaign incorporated a stopover component, partnering with Finnair, where visitors could extend their layover up to five days. This response tied to the pre-campaign analysis as it targeted Finland’s feeder markets. It proved especially useful for Hong Kong and Japan because flights to Finland are the shortest routes to Europe from Asia. The insights team determined that targeting travelers looking for premier city destinations in Europe (like Paris, Berlin, etc.) from their feeder markets, coupled with the stopover component, would be an effective tactic to steal market share.
Tying in with the stopover component, the campaign utilized an always on branding initiative, running for eight months out of the year, with four social media theme weeks (1 per market) as a branding burst before summer. Consultants suspected that low awareness of Finland’s amazing landscapes contributed to the missed bookings. Armed with this insight, the digital media experts promoted awareness around Finland’s Lakeland and interior regions. The burst used social media to expose their target audience with content that highlighted summer activities in the selected regions, enticing travelers’ interest. Collaboratively, the Lodging Partner Services division of Expedia, Inc. worked to secure hotel deals to engage prospective visitors to book with a compelling offer while the creative imagery encouraged regional spread with the increasing awareness of Lakeland and other regions.
Visit Finland’s digital media campaign was a success. They realized a return on ad spend of more than 40:1. Likewise, travelers booking trips of 8-14 days represented between 30-50% of the bookings on Finnair during the campaign.
Kaisa Kosonen, a Program Manager for Visit Finland, sums up the campaign when she states, “We are able to find the right people when they are actively looking for holidays. With our stopover campaign, the main idea is to give the travelers the idea to combine a stopover in Finland in their holiday plans. Based on the booking numbers this very strategic approach seems to work well.”
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