The Travel Marketing Awards:  Travel marketing tips from the industry’s mould-breakers – TTG Media

The recent Travel Marketing Awards in the UK highlighted some excellent new case studies.  We particularly liked this one from Hostelworld featuring Chris Eubank.

Hostelworld

Award: Best PR Tactical, and the only platinum winner, for its Hostelling with Chris Eubank video – a collaboration with Lucky Generals creative agency.

Brief: To engage with the target audience of millennials, reminding them that hostels are not just affordable social hubs but that they boast increasingly stylish spaces.

Strategy: “The millennial audience is on mobile and social media,” says Ottokar Rosenberger, chief marketing officer at Hostelworld, explaining why digital is such a focus for the brand. The company’s Hostelling with Chris Eubank video, which was uploaded to YouTube, was born out of an 18-year-old sketch that featured on TV’s I’m Alan Partridge show, where Partridge suggested the idea to a BBC executive.

The idea was brought to life last year after Eubank expressed his confusion on Twitter over why people always asked him about youth hostels. The online hostel aggregator seized the opportunity to introduce the eloquent former boxer to the world of hostels. “Everybody knows Eubank and lots of young people are in on the Partridge joke – it was culturally very relevant,” Rosenberger explains. “So when Eubank came around and said, ‘Hey, what is up with hostels and me?’, that got us going.”Rosenberger adds that it is testament to the team’s ability to innovate quickly that made the idea a reality. “From going, ‘Should we do this?’ to getting Eubank involved and into the Brighton hostel, to putting it online, it was four days. If we’d done it a week later, I don’t think it would’ve worked… [Working on the momentum built online] was absolutely the key to success.”

Masterminding such a successful campaign all comes down to having great brand awareness, Rosenberger adds. “It was tongue-in-cheek, but also very authentic for our brand. [It’s important to] always be authentic about what you do and what you stand for as a brand.”

ROI: The video reached an audience of two billion and was picked up by national media. “We were featured in places we wouldn’t normally get to, such as the BBC” says Rosenberger. “We wanted to pierce through the consciousness of millennials. And we totally achieved that.”

Watch the ad here:

 

Judge’s feedback
Aneil Bedi, partner at M&C Saatchi, says: “The key to good marketing is that it has to present ‘old’ information in a new, surprising but relevant way. What makes Hostelworld’s Hostelling with Chris Eubank so brilliant is that it combined all this with the impact of everyone being in on the Alan Partridge joke. It didn’t cost a fortune and the results were outstanding – a masterstroke of marketing. It was a unanimous decision to give it The Travel Marketing Awards’ highest rating – platinum. I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Source: TTG Media | Travel industry, travel agent and tourism news, events and jobs – Features – TTMAs: Travel marketing tips from the industry’s mould-breakers

Facebooks 360-Degree Travel Videos Offer Destinations a New Path to Marketing – Skift

Facebook logoFor the first time, hundreds of millions of consumers around the world can watch 360-degree, virtual reality videos on Facebook via their own devices. It has helped that some travel brands have already spent millions to showcase their cities and landscapes on this new media platform.

The first 360-degree/virtual reality travel videos on Facebook span five continents and since January, National Geographic, GoPro, Seaview 360, Discovery, Weather Channel, and Tourism Australia have rolled-out about 24 of these videos for their Facebook pages.

Each of them has more than three million views with Tourism Australia, one of the first destination marketing organizations to put its 360/virtual reality videos on Facebook, getting 4.6 million views to date on seven of its 17 such videos that are on Facebook and another 1.6 million views across YouTube and its consumer website Australia.com. Australia.com’s Facebook page has about 6.8 million likes.

Tourism Australia’s videos are tied to its $40 million global marketing campaign that launched in January and made Chris Hemsworth its frontman. The destination’s 360/virtual reality videos aim to effectively channel what makes Australia special. Travelers can navigate through the videos themselves and get to the heart of unique experiences they could have throughout the heart of unique experiences they could have throughout the country, such as kayaking through Katherine Gorge in the country’s Northern Territory or playing with baby kangaroos on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island.

“[These videos] aren’t just Tourism Australia’s assets,” said John O’Sullivan, Tourism Australia’s managing director. “They’re an industry development tool and a sale tool for consumers and trade partners. We’re encouraging travel agents and our other partners to use them as well. We especially saw the potential of having such content available too for frontline travel agents to also share these experiences with people considering Australia.”

Bringing Virtual Reality to Consumers

Facebook initially launched these videos in September 2015 as 360-degree videos on desktop, where consumers could click and drag the screen 360 degrees to view all perspectives of the video.

In November, Facebook brought these videos to mobile iOS and Android devices and made available on its Oculus Rift as well as Samsung Gear virtual headsets. Before these releases, travel brands were demoing these videos at trade conferences or at in-destination meetup events for consumers and were only viewed by people attending these events. Putting virtual reality in the hands of consumers clearly changes the game for brands and makes their costly and time-consuming production efforts more worthwhile.

“The videos help the consumer to consider places they otherwise would not have considered because they were able to immerse themselves in a place and get a feel for it,” said O’Sullivan. “They also help us convey that Australia isn’t a place you do in just one trip. You come back another time and do something different and these videos can help you decide what you want to do.”

Facebook Foray Into Virtual Reality

Facebook showed it was serious with virtual reality when it acquired Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion and these latest video and headset releases only tease at the direction the company will take the technology.

Source: Facebooks 360-Degree Travel Videos Offer Destinations a New Path to Marketing – Skift

Hilton Launches New Direct-Booking Campaign

Hilton Worldwide has launched a new “Stop Clicking Around” ad campaign, underscoring that the best price is available only on its own website or through travel agents. The promotion offers Hilton HHonors members a discount of 10% off the best available rate.

“’Book Direct’ means bookings that are made on Hilton Worldwide’s hotel brand websites and reservation call centers, the Hilton HHonors app, directly at a hotel, or through preferred corporate travel partners and approved travel agents,” the website says.

“The travel agent community is an extension of our business and we greatly value their opinions and support,” Geraldine Calpin, Hilton’s Chief Marketing Officer, told TMR. “We are, and have always been, committed to supporting our travel agent partners.”

About 57 billion HHonors Points–more than 1.6 million free nights–went unearned last year because guests booked through a third party, the company said. “Our bold campaign will set the record straight and help travellers understand how to take advantage of every Point, benefit and experience they possibly can during their hotel stay,” Calpin said.

The campaign is running on numerous channels, including print, online, television, billboards, on-property ads, and social media.

Source: Hilton Launches New Direct-Booking Campaign

Shazam can be a neat marketing tool, but travel brands aren’t listening: by Kevin May, Tnooz

Many travel companies claim to be “joined-up” with their marketing efforts these days – but still they appear to forget there is more to it than showing a fancy ad.

A case in point is the latest run of Christmas-New Year TV and online ads from some of the UK’s most high profile travel brands.Tour operators have traditionally seen the December break as the ideal time to showcase their latest marketing campaign, often with a slick new ad to be shown during key commercial breaks in the Christmas TV schedule.

Nowadays, such campaigns have taken on considerably more importance as they are also created for the web market.

True to form, UK rival tour operators Thomas Cook and First Choice unleashed their latest efforts in the days before Christmas, with slickly produced TV and online videos.

British Airways was another.

There are two common themes running on the clips.

The first is the importance of music.

The second is, despite that importance, two of the brands have missed out on connecting the audio in their ads to the biggest music recognition platform on the web.

In June last year, Shazam started a new initiative whereby brands could link their advertising campaigns to the platform so that users who “Shazamed” a piece of audio could obtain more information about a product or service.

Brands were encouraged to place the Shazam logo (a small but recognisable “S”) somewhere on the creative and then link the track on Shazam for details about the song and what the ad is promoting. Subtle, but potentially rather effective.BA and First Choice didn’t think about this.Marketers might shrug and claim it’s a wasted effort.

But perhaps not when they realise that, according to media and marketing publication The Drum, their campaigns were some of the most “Shazamed” songs of the Christmas period.

Still, hats off to Thomas Cook for thinking more laterally.Thomas Cook provided a small link on the YouTube version of the ad so users can download the song on SoundCloud, but although it didn’t use the “S” in the clip it did connect the dots back to Shazam so that the newly released song has “From Thomas Cook Advert” as its title.

Source: Shazam can be a neat marketing tool, but travel brands aren’t listening

New Dublin brand looks beyond city centre for ‘must-visit’ appeal – Independent.ie

Dublin is being re-branded as more than just a “party town” in an effort to secure its long-term future as a tourism destination.

The new brand and logo – ‘Dublin – A breath of Fresh Air’ – were unveiled as key elements in a new tourism marketing campaign.  The €1 million campaign described as “a new expression of a rare auld thing”, seeks to change perceptions of Dublin “from a weak and one-dimensional image to that of a city pulsing with life,” according to Fáilte Ireland.

The logo was inspired by “the old, the new, and one Dublin resident in particular,” the tourism development authority said..   ”This is the first Dublin-dedicated tourism campaign in many years,” said Shaun Quinn, Fáilte Ireland CEO.

“It is necessary as Dublin is in danger of allowing its brand to become a bit stale while our competitor cities overseas have actually been reinventing themselves.”Modern tourists enjoy a huge range of city break options across Europe, with destinations like Amsterdam (“I Amsterdam”), Berlin (“visitBerlin”) and Stockholm (“This is Stockholm”) marketing themselves dynamically in recent years.

Visitor numbers to Dublin have grown by 12% in what could be its busiest ever year, but there is a recognition that the city needs to “future-proof” itself as a destination that will continue to appeal even if external markets or currencies fluctuate.

The ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ tag encourages visitors to look beyond the City Centre, positioning Dublin as a coastal city with mountains and sea on its doorstep.“What we have here in Dublin is unique,” said Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sports, Paschal Donohoe TD, who launched the campaign.

“There is no point, however, in being Europe’s best kept secret, and I very much welcome this new campaign to reposition the city and county and ensure that its unique appeal cuts through in the international marketplace.”

The new Dublin brand, unveiled as part of a new tourism marketing campaign by Fáilte Ireland.  Campaigns will also run in Ireland, as well as in France and Germany, with an emphasis on digital and social media marketing.€1 million has been earmarked for the first phases of the public/private initiative – funding provided by Fáilte Ireland, the four Dublin local authorities and a collection of private-sector partners including city hotels, Brown Thomas, the Guinness Storehouse, Irish Ferries, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and daa among others.

The campaign was co-ordinated by the ‘Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance’ (GDTA), a group established by Fáilte Ireland to develop the plans set out in Destination Dublin – A Collective Strategy for Growth to 2020.  It aims to grow visitors numbers to the city to 6.2 million by 2020, and to grow tourism spend from a base of €1.4 billion to €2.5 billion in the same period.

“All of us around the table – tourism businesses, retailers, representative associations and State agencies – feel that this new brand captures the essence of what makes Dublin different,” said Michael Carey, Chairman of the GDTA.

Other differentiating factors include the vibrancy of Dublin’s population, its “ever evolving culture and curiosity” and “a spontaneous openness”, Fáilte Ireland says.“Tourists aren’t aware of what Dublin has to offer and what makes it distinct. Compared to other European cities, Dublin is seen as ‘dusty’ and old-fashioned,” Carey added.”To compete with other cities, we need to reposition Dublin to encapsulate its dynamic and bustling personality,” he said.The GTDA today also published its Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance Progress and Action Plan, which identifies access and transport, accommodation and food and the cruise passenger experience as “core parts” of the Dublin visitor experience for prioritisation.

Source: New Dublin brand looks beyond city centre for ‘must-visit’ appeal – Independent.ie

Royal Caribbean launching new marketing campaign that shows off incredible and immersive vacations | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean has launched a new marketing campaign entitled, “Come Seek”, that aims to show a Royal Caribbean cruise is more than just a vacation on a floating hotel.

The new campaign which made its début on October 19, 2015 conveys that a Royal Caribbean vacation is not simply a cruise and those that take a cruise are not taking a conventional vacation.

Royal Caribbean’s multi-million dollar campaign wants to “roll out red carpet for next generation of cruisers” that are not just new to cruising, but also tech-savvy and relish an immersive and experiential kind of vacation.

Royal Caribbean are calling these people “Seekers” because, travel is not about vacations or being a tourist: travel is a way of life.  “Come Seek” has three main messages: This is not a cruise; You are not a tourist; This is not the Caribbean.  At the end, it ends with simply, “This is the Royal Caribbean”.

Through a variety of channels, Royal Caribbean aims to have “Come Seek” invoke imagery of mashing up surprising on-board experiences, such as North Star, the FlowRider and connecting on social media with Voom high speed internet.  In addition, Royal Caribbean wants to show the depth of places to explore in the Caribbean.  All of this works towards giving guests experiences and memories that they cannot wait to show off to their friends and family.

New television ads made their début on the October 19th in 15 and 30 second spots.  In addition, Royal Caribbean added 5 second ads in programs with heavy live viewership on US TV networks, such as The Voice and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, with a 30 second ad later on to expand upon the 5 second teaser.  People may also have seen 5 second ads will run across the web including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Going beyond traditional media:

Perhaps one of the most innovative parts of this new campaign are the brand new “live billboards” in the New York city area that will feature live look-ins to Royal Caribbean’s ships.  Two hundred and thirty geo-target units across New York City will show live broadcasts via Periscope in high traffic commuter areas, such as John F. Kennedy International Airport terminal, news stands and subways.

Using the Voom high speed internet, these live tune-ins from the ships to show off the experience as it’s happening in real time.  These live look-ins will occur throughout the month of November and be shown around peak commuting times.  Most, if not all, of the tune-ins will come from Anthem of the Seas sailings.

Royal Caribbean will also look to guests to suggest experience that Royal Caribbean should broadcast back on Periscope.  Going off the map Royal Caribbean is also trying something else new to show off the kind of amazing experiences waiting in the Caribbean with a new Tumblr page called, “Uncharted”.

Royal Caribbean crew members will become ambassadors and share content as they experience it on their cruises.These Uncharted experiences will also be on the website, advertising and social media.  If it proves successful, the program could eventually extend to guests and travel agents.

Getting noticed:  

The idea behind this kind of advertising is to get past the traditional produced and polished advertising people expect.

Royal Caribbean believes authentic experiences will be something guests really value and notice.Royal Caribbean is very cognizant that consumers are used to being advertised so much that a lot of gets tuned out or fast forwarded.  With live Periscopes and crew ambassador reviews, the hope is the public will take notice because this is not a traditional kind of ad.

Source: Royal Caribbean launching new marketing campaign that shows off incredible and immersive vacations | Royal Caribbean Blog

14 Stats that Show Why Video Marketing is Important for Hotels. – 4Hoteliers

Source: 14 Stats that Show Why Video Marketing is Important for Hotels. –  4Hoteliers

By Nigel J. Rodgers

If hoteliers are looking to increase engagement and traffic to their websites, then video must be a part of the marketing plan as it is now the most sought-after form of content on the internet;

Most of the people on the internet are viewing videos and in a few years, the majority of content online will be video. There is countless marketing research revealing the popularity and impact of video.

Here are a few stats that show why video marketing is important for hotels.

  • 20% of users read text while 80% will watch a video with the same content. This shows that video is more appealing and easier to consume than text.
  • YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world. Google, of course, is #1 and Google owns YouTube. So by having a hotel video on YouTube, your content will appear on the two largest search engines on the internet.
  • Every month, more than one billion people visit YouTube to watch more than six billion hours of video. YouTube is the promised land for marketing your hotel through video. On YouTube, your video content is exposed to a population of internet users that almost matches the populations of China or India.
  • 100 million internet users watch online video each day. Though not all of them are watching travel videos, this is still a large number of people who can possibly see your video. Even if only 1% sees you video, that’s still 100,000 users that have become aware of your property.
  • The average user is exposed to an average of 32.2 videos in a month. That’s about 3,864 videos a year. With users encountering so many videos throughout the year, your hotel marketing videos have a big chance of being viewed.
  • 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video. In two years, most of the people will be online to watch videos. Creating strong video content will help your hotel keep up with the times.
  • 33% of tablet owners watch one hour of video per day on their device.  89.7 million smartphone video viewers in the US in 2014. Viewing video on mobile devices is becoming increasingly popular. Be sure that your marketing videos are optimized for small screens.
  • Views of travel-related content up 118% year over year (YoY). The number of people viewing content specific to travel is increasing exponentially. Why not be a part of the travel video revolution?
  • 88% of YouTube Travel Searches Focus on Destinations. This is where the hotel becomes extremely important. When people know their destination, the next step is to find a great hotel.
  • Bookings are 67% more likely to happen when a video tour is available. As mentioned in my article about impactful types of video, digital tours of your hotel property are a powerful form of video content.
  • 65% of business executives visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video. A good video can generate more business traveller traffic to your hotel website which can improve direct booking numbers.
  • 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. Hoteliers want to gain from their digital marketing investments. Video is one of the more efficient ways to achieve those gains.

Interesting Quote About the Impact of Video

“One minute of video is worth 1.8 million words” – Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research

Though some have quoted this statement as fact, it is indeed just a hyperbolic twist to the “A picture is worth a thousand words” quote that is often used in content marketing. A picture is worth 1000 words, there are 30 frames (pictures) per second in a standard video, and there are 60 seconds in a minutes. So 1000 x 30 x 60 = 1.8 million.

Even though this statement isn’t scientifically accurate, it’s still a testament to how powerful video marketing content can be for your hotel.

E-Marketing Associates helps independent hotels increase direct bookings and reduce reliance on OTAs. We build innovative online marketing products that deliver the best ROI for independent hotels. Our products aim to ultimately drive top-line revenue.