Creating a successful travel marketing campaign can be a challenging task for most of the travel marketers. With numerous travel agencies, airlines, and hotels in line, there is fierce competition for brand awareness.
A lot of travel marketing campaigns try hard to capture the curiosity of travelers, but fall flat. So, our expert digital marketers at ColorWhistle wanted to give you a little inspiration for your own travel and tourism marketing in 2020 and beyond.
From social media, video content, display, we searched for some of the most compelling travel marketing campaigns that inspired people to go on their next travel adventure.
Here’s a roundup of some of the most famous travel and tourism marketing campaigns you should check out.
Best Travel Marketing Campaigns From Around The World
We have segregated all the travel marketing campaigns into social media, video content and display ads. This will help you to frame a multi-channel strategy.
14 Best Examples of Travel Video Marketing Campaigns
Here are some of the most innovative travel videos.
1. KLM – Live Hologram Bar
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has built a hologram bar where people can meet to exchange local tips when they are waiting for flights. These holograms are placed in the airports of Amsterdam, Oslo and Rio de Janeiro.
2. Turkish Airlines – The Journey
Turkish Airlines released a short film called ‘The Journey’ where 90% of the film was airplanes and scenery. This short film has done a brilliant job promoting the airline and the destinations.
3. Iceland – Explore the a-ö of Iceland
The A-Ö of Iceland, a marketing campaign uses Icelandic alphabet to increase awareness of Iceland as a good place to visit; a great place to do business; and a place that provides great food and experience.
4. Cheapflights – Drag, Drop and Go
Cheapflights and agency Uncle Grey designed an ad banner that appeared on articles about sports, art, music events and relevant publications. The user had to simply drag the article image into the Cheapflights banner and it will instantly find the best tickets. Rather than focusing on destinations, it promoted experiences that people were already interested in.
5. Van Gogh’s Bedroom – Let Yourself In
To promote the Art Institute of Chicago’s 2016 van Gogh exhibit, Leo Burnett built Van Gogh’s Bedroom and listed it on Airbnb as a place for people to stay for a night. The campaign was a tremendous success.
6. Switzerland – Yodel Ay Hee Hoo
This ad campaign encouraged busy city people to visit the countryside. A live video feed was placed in the train station where a man was sharing information about his village and even printed train tickets in real-time.
7. Tourism Ireland – Fill your Heart
Tourism Ireland asked a married couple to wear a custom-made technology which had head-mounted cameras during their holiday in Ireland. The technology tracked their response to various experiences. They wanted to use this data to show the ‘heart-filling’ effect that Ireland has on visitors. This campaign has combined storytelling with technology.
8. Airbnb – Let’s Keep Travelling Forward
Geo-politically, 2018 was not a good year. When Donald Trump imposed a travel ban during that year, Airbnb immediately released a video highlighting the brand’s belief – “to limit travel is to turn back progress.” This campaign helped to voice the brand’s message to the world while staying relevant.
9. Hong Kong Tourism Board – VR Time Travel
When the Hong Kong tourism board launched a VR time travel experience with Timelooper, it wanted to show people that this will be an engaging experience. This VR experience enabled viewers to see the 1960’s Hong Kong, the battle between two kung-fu fighters on Hollywood Road, aircraft landing at Kai Tan airport and more. This campaign showcased the location in an innovative and engaging way.
10. British Airways – Safety Video
Safety videos are usually boring. But, British Airways turned it into a marketing opportunity. They made a safety video with actors Sir Michael Caine, Olivia Colman and comedian Chabuddy G. This video created a great online buzz for British Airways.
11. Easyjet – Imagine
Easyjet launched a £12m pan-European campaign in 2018 called ‘Imagine.’ It was a TV ad which showed the many wonders of air travel. Along with this, the company also ran ads across print, digital and social. This ad campaign helped viewers associate Easyjet with imagination and experience.
12. SNCF – Europe, It’s Just Next Door
The French National Railway operator wanted to encourage people to take the train to visit nearby countries. It placed blue doors in and around Paris. When a person opens the door, it will give an immersive digital experience of what they could see ‘next door’.
13. Tourism Quebec – Blind Tourist
Quebec is a place known for its outdoor lifestyle. But, Tourism Quebec wanted to show people that traveling can be more than just visual experience. They wanted to offer a rich experience to the senses in such a way that seeing things was only a small part of the picture. This ad has a very rich narrative.
14. Northern Ireland – Doors Of Thrones
Northern Ireland used the hit show Game of Thrones to draw tourists in. They took destroyed remnants of battered trees and carved them into 10 intricate doors. All these doors resembled the 10 episodes of season 6.
15. Helsinki Airport – Life In Hel
Helsinki was voted the best airport in 2016. They leveraged this success by running a campaign featuring Chinese actor Ryan Zhu. He lived in this airport for 30 days and shared the experience across social media and other video channels.
11 Best Examples of Creative Travel and Tourism Print Ads
Here are some of the most innovative print ads.
1. LATAM Airlines used the rainbow flag in a series of print ads
2. Norwegian Airlines utilized the Brangelina split to its advantage
3. Kielo Travel – Dreaming of a Holiday?
4. Detroiter Travel Center – You Made It
5. CVC – The World Is Outside
6. Cruise Ship Centers – Dreaming of a cruise?
7. Flight Center – Forget Work
8. WWF – Exploring the ecosystem also threatens lives
9. TBWA Buenos Aires – Medical assistance for travelers
10. Shchusev State Museum of Architecture – Discover the full story
11. Staedtler – Where it begins
13 Best Examples of Travel Social Media Campaigns
Here are some of the most innovative travel social media campaigns.
This Instagram campaign from Eurostar turned heads by trying something new. They wanted to promote train travel from London to Paris. So, they split an illustration of a journey from London to Paris into 200 Instagram tile images. Some tiles were videos and others were hidden offers.
2. Alaska Airlines
At the end of the year, many companies give gifts to customers and employees. Keeping this in mind, Alaska Airlines launched a fun promotional Twitter campaign by partnering with Starbucks. They gave a free Starbucks gift card to their guests.
3. Hawaii Tourism Department
The Hawaii tourism department wanted to give first-time visitors an idea of Hawaii’s beauty and culture. Plus, they also wanted veteran vacationers to visit the island again So, the tourism department collaborated with travel Instagrammers to get users to share their favorite Hawaii memory by using the hashtag #LetHawaiiHappen. The campaign was a huge success because ordinary users shared their own experiences.
4. WOW Airlines
WOW Airlines launched a Snaptraveler program where 4 winners would get to tour across all 28 of the airline’s destinations for free. In exchange, they have to post a Snap story about all the locations they visit. The idea of this summer Snapchat contest was to create a reality television-like experience, target their main demographic and share relevant content in WOW Airlines’ Snapchat account. Here is a short video of the campaign.
5. National Geographic
National Geographic launched a wanderlust contest for aspiring travel and nature photographers. They have to submit their own photographs with the hashtag #Wanderlustcontest. The idea behind this campaign was to improve National Geographic’s reputation as the leading source for beautiful travel photography.
6. Kenya Tourism Board
Kenya Tourism Board partnered with Expedia to promote Kenya and an incredible destination to travelers. They choose a famous travel blogging couple and sent them on a one week trip to Kenya with no fixed itinerary. The people following this couple on Instagram can decide the itinerary by voting through an Instagram Stories poll. Throughout the week, the couple broadcasted their journey to their Instagram followers. The content was also repurposed on a microsite. This campaign was a huge success. Here is a short video of the campaign.
7. Cheapflights Facebook Messenger
Cheapflights Chat launched the world’s first Facebook Messenger bot which allowed people to search for flights and hotels. The bot utilized seven APIs. To promote this chat, videos of fictional conversations were created and shared across Facebook. Here is the chat demo.
Hotels.com dedicated an entire Facebook ad carousel to promote its “Gift $50, Get $10” holiday deal. Each slide focuses on the deal and also shows the different types of trips that people can take. This is a simple and memorable ad.
10. Visit PA
Visit PA wanted to push Pennsylvania as the perfect summer getaway. They used Facebook’s carousel ads format to show one panoramic photo in parts.
Airbnb created a unique Instagram video ad that showed users how the experience of discovering each activity in the Airbnb app will look like.
12. Air Canada
Air Canada ran an ad in the US during the night of the 2016 presidential election. That night, Canada’s Immigration and Citizenship site had so many visitors that it crashed. Air Canada learnt this sudden interest and targeted the ad towards people who are looking to fly outside the country.
13. Explore Georgia
Explore Georgia wanted to position itself as the most pet-friendly state in America. So, they created a social media strategy targeting millennial pet owners. They shared lots of posts with the hashtag #ExploreGeorgiaPup to show that Georgia was the perfect place to visit with a dog. This campaign generated lots of traffic to their website and also helped them to reach 10,000+ followers on their pet-friendly travel Pinterest board.
7 Best Examples of Travel Email Marketing Campaigns
Here are some of the most innovative travel email marketing campaigns.
1. Air Canada
During email sign-up, Air Canada asks new subscribers to tell their home airport and the destinations they are interested to travel. By using this information, they send personalized emails according to the interest of the subscriber.
For example, this email was sent to a subscriber whose home airport is in Montreal.
2. Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic proved that it can promote activities that focus on the journey and not just the destination. The company created a memorable customer experience by sending them email offers for virtual reality skydiving. The name of the campaign was Virgin Experience Days.
3. Fairmont Hotels
Loyalty is hard to find in the travel business because travelers always search for the best deal rather than a specific brand. However, if there is a reward program, it will encourage loyalty and repeat business.
Fairmont Hotels wanted to persuade their subscribers to sign up for their loyalty program through an easy sign-up form which included a call-to-action. Here’s the attractive email.
4. Flight Centre
Limited period offers always create a sense of urgency and encourages people to take action. Flight Center used this idea and offered cheap deals to New York City. To convey that this was a limited-time offer, they added a countdown clock at the bottom of the email.
5. Southwest Airlines
Subscribers will feel good if you send emails appreciating them. Southwest Airlines sent an email to its subscribers by adding their customer’s name, travel history and reward points they earned. This ‘thank you’ email also had smiling faces and diverse employees.
Holidays are the time when flight tickets might go up. Mostly, people book tickets at the last time and when the rates are high, they often get disappointed. To avoid this, Hipmunk sent a simple email announcing that prices will go up.
7. Memphis CVB
Memphis CVB wanted to improve awareness of Memphis by showcasing its many attractions and key events they must attend. Here is one of the custom emails they sent to their subscribers.
It’s Time To Start Your Next Travel Marketing Campaign
We hope that the above travel marketing campaigns will inspire you to kickstart your next one. All of these ads have gone beyond the typical boring list of destinations, images and pricing. They show the power of timing, relevance and personalization – all of which are important to create a great campaign.
To create such ad campaigns, all you have to do is get creative, think big and dig deep to find inspiration in the destination you represent. The ideas you come with today will continue to inspire travelers for years to come.
Have you seen a better online travel marketing campaign? Do share them in the comment section below.