To capitalize on Finland’s geographical beauty, Visit Finland sought to raise awareness of their various landscapes, thereby attracting travelers to Finland’s less visited regions—especially a region called Lakeland—during the summer season. They aimed to do all this while still 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 Group’s first-party search and booking data to inform campaign tactics. The data showed that engaging Finland’s longstanding feeder markets: Hong Kong, Japan, Britain, and the U.S, was critical as travelers from these markets were searching for Finland, but ultimately booking other Scandinavian destinations. 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.
To better position Finland against their competitive markets, the campaign incorporated a stopover component. Visit Finland partnered with Finnair to offer visitors a layover of up to five days. This tactic also leveraged 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 between Europe and Asia. The Media Solutions 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 used 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. Based on the data, our travel marketing experts suspected that low awareness of Finland’s amazing landscapes contributed to missed bookings. Armed with this insight, the campaign focused on the diversity of Finland’s Lakeland and interior regions. The campaign used social media to expose target audiences to content that highlighted summer activities in the selected regions, piquing traveler interest. Collaboratively, the Lodging Partner Services team within Expedia Group secured hotel deals to engage prospective visitors to book with a compelling offers.
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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*Expedia Group, TravelAds and Accelerator incrementality data, 2022