Travel has always been one of the most emotional products to sell - memories, smells, sounds, sights and experiences all combine to create an intricate tapestry that offers many approachable threads for marketers.
Capturing a bit of the emotional resonance of travel - whether it be the feeling of not having to wake up at 5am for that commute to work or the romantic time spent with a partner on a getaway - is one of the simplest and most effective ways to create impactful advertising in the industry.
Expedia's latest campaign, Find Yours, is a clever, cross-channel promotion that really pulls at these emotional threads. Surely some will find it to be too melodramatic or crass in the avalanche of emotions; nonetheless, the campaign is cute and interesting, successfully emphasizing the wonder of travel.
The campaign begins with an extensive "Find Yours" video series, offering up compelling emotional hooks well-suited to video and targeted to a variety of demographics.
This chameleon-like ability to engage different customer segments is the hallmark of a successful long-term campaign, because the same tag line can be used across mediums to reflect the same message.
Here's the full playlist, starting with an intro to their companion Facebook app, and following by both short-form commercials fit for TV and new media, and 2 minute ditties on the power of travel.
The video introduction to the app lays out the premise, emphasizing the storytelling aspect that lies at the heart of many travel experiences - "man, this is gonna make a great story!!"
Ultimately, the "Find Yours" message reflects the segmented, customizable and ultimately unique nature of an individual trip.
Expedia has circled back to tie in this theme of the "completely unique-to-you trip" on social media by launching a custom Facebook app that reflects the "Find Yours" theme by allowing fans to create their own travel videos from their trip photos.
It's called "The Expedia Find Your Story App," and delivers an interactive and highly shareable product that is inherently emotional.
The Expedia Find Your Story app allows even those with no video editing skills to quickly compile vacation photos (or any other photos, really) into a short, stylized video.
The user is asked to upload photos alongside details of their vacation; perhaps the most over-wrought part of the entire campaign is when the app asks "What did you find on this journey?" Some skeptics will surely be turned off by the overly rosy "travel is transformative" narrative. Nonetheless, many will surely agree in the transformative power of travel, and this campaign does a stellar job at reinforcing this theme.
The travel mementoes are fleshed out with Google Maps integration: the user enters the origin and destination, and then that actual travel is incorporated into the video itself. At the end of the process, the video can be viewed and shared across social networks with friends, family and anyone else that might be interested in the user's video - all courtesy of Expedia.
The Facebook app can be accessed from Expedia's custom site, http://findyours.com, which redirects to the Facebook app.
Here are some of our favorite Find Yours videos. They most certainly tug at the heartstrings, so get those tissues ready! And they are another guiding light when it comes to creating powerful, impactful and ultimately viral marketing campaigns - tell a story and tell it well, and people will share it widely and passionately.
Find Your Perspective:
Find Your Understanding:
Find Your Strength:
Find Your Curiosity:
And here, in honor of the "Find Your Curiosity" short, is yours truly finding his curiosity well over 6 years ago (remember when there was no High-Definition?) at the very Donghuamen Night Market where the Expedia short was filmed.