Expedia advocates getaways for Black Friday

2021-11-29 by Ronn Torossian

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.

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 250 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities