Le Méridien and Air France have a life-long bond: Le Méridien was founded in 1972 by Air France as a home-away-from-home for their customers. The original hotel was in Paris, and, with its 1,000 rooms, was the first in what would be a growing group of hotels.
Now owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the hotel brand is reunited with Air France for an innovative Facebook promotion that does a fantastic job at both kindling travel lust and encouraging Facebook likes.
The promotion is called A Photographer's Journey, and it follows international photographer Jimmy Corhssen on a one month, ten flight journey around the world.
Jimmy pointed his lens at Tahiti, Bora Bora, Shanghai, Istanbul and Paris, bringing back some vivid imagery that easily captures the travel imagination.
The cleverest part of this campaign is the integration of the online and off.
Facebook users are encouraged to like Air France and Le Méridien and participate in a 3-week voting process for their favorite images across three themes: Style, Voyage and Art de Vivre. Users can vote on up to 10 photos under each weekly theme.
The most popular 10 photos from each category will then be curated into a traveling offline exhibition, premiering in New York City on December 11.
The images are bright, vibrant and alive, delivering a fantastic sucker punch to the wanderlust-prone: The colors of Shanghai, the curvaceous lines of the Air France A380, the brilliant baubles of a Le Méridien restaurant canopy - it all comes together in a lively collage of travel wonder.
The Facebook application also encourages social sharing, which is tied to increasing odds of winning a pair of Air France tickets anywhere that Jimmy traveled (except Bora Bora) and 100,000 Starwood points.
Air France currently has a bit over 75k likes, and Le Méridien has 38k. The success of this promotion hinges not just on the engagement of current fans but also on the social sharing.
The compelling offer to share "Style, Voyage and Art de Vivre" is likely to encourage many a visual trendsetter to prove their taste-making abilities with a Facebook post of their own.