Expedia advocates getaways for Black Friday
The pandemic has left people eager for a change of scenery. Virus tests and forms essential for travel have made planning and organizing trips more difficult. Holiday shoppers are also craving to travel freely again. Quite a few may even wish to travel to places they see on TV screens and in catalogs. A lot of people are beyond ready to leave their homes for a weekend getaway or more. With people working from home, taking time off from work allows recovery and relaxation.
This observation led to Expedia group’s latest marketing campaign. It is centered around a 15-second video depicting a tranquil beach on a TV screen. The camera zooms in and a voiceover asks, ‘This Black Friday do you want a TV or do you want the place on the TV?’. The broader campaign, named ‘Black Friday’ wants to play out the sentiments of journey, discovery, and rejuvenation most shoppers have missed since travel was adversely affected in 2020.
Black Friday is a busy day for shoppers. Expedia aims to leverage some of that spending demand with its own ad that ties together its three flagship brands: Expedia, Vrbo and Hotels.com. The video will appear on digital media and TV. It will also appear on screens in malls, with an intention to reach shoppers as they choose gifts, subtly persuading them to choose travel over objects.
Holiday shopping searches online will also be hijacked by display and social media ads displaying the same message. It will also appear before and along popular product reviews. Before people can get to review videos for flat screen TVs and cameras , they will be served the ad. Although many aspects of travel may have changed permanently, tourism suppliers are tracking an increased interest in travel.
Searches on Expedia and Hotels.com increased following the announcement that vaccinated foreign travelers could enter the U.S starting November 8. Vrbo reported that vacation homes for December started booking up in July. The brands collaborated in early November to release a guide of experiences organized by comparable prices of popular items, such as a two-night Vrbo stay in Naples for the price of a $300 smartwatch or a Texas treehouse rental for the price of fine jewelry.
It appears that the three sister brands have come together at a time like Black friday and Cyber Monday to express a bigger travel narrative. The brands are offering to travelers experiences of escape and discovery. People are becoming increasingly optimistic about traveling, and the brands are encouraging people to book that trip. With surging air-travel, short- and long-term hotel bookings are also beginning to recover.
For businesses like Expedia, things are going in the right direction from the travel demand perspective. Relaxed cancellation and rebooking policies from airlines and other travel suppliers can only mean excellent business. Black Friday is one of the first projects between Expedia group and Anomaly. The campaign aims to create a comfortable space for customers by posing a question to people rather than forcing them to travel.
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading pr agency.