Valentine's Day is upon us. It's the lovely day in which the marketing pressure pushes the stakes high into the sky, and travel brands of all kinds are rolling out Valentine-themed campaigns.
United Airlines has jumped headfirst into the marketing fracas, offering a free BusinessFirst ticket anywhere that United flies for a winning couple that explains just how the airline has helped them be together.
The promotion is dubbed "Love is in the Air" and submissions require both a photo and a 500 word entry explaining how United connected the entrant to their significant other.
From the marketing copy:
Did cupid's arrow strike you at the airport? Met the love of your life in flight? Popped the question at 30,000 feet? You just never know where love might find you. Air travel brings together different people from all over the world – each just trying to get from point A to B. But sometimes fate intervenes en route and travelers cross paths with someone special.
We hear from customers all the time about how United played a special role in their love story. From inflight proposals and airport weddings to chance seating assignments and United Club connections - it seems the sky is the limit when it comes to finding love.Tell us how United helped connect you with the love of your life. Share your united-in-love story and you could win two United BusinessFirst® tickets anywhere United flies.
Aiming to bring some social virality into the promotion, entrants are encouraged to login via Facebook and to share their own stories via the hashtag #unitedinlove across social media platforms.
In a welcome development, the winners will be selected by a panel of actual employees rather than a marketing agency hired by the airline. This might sound trite, but oftentimes these sorts of competitions eliminate the actual heart and soul of a brand by allowing the marketing agency full reign. Bringing together actual employees offers a potentially more meaningful selection that represents how employees view their own company.
The panel of employees will pick a winning couple
who they believe best tells a United Love in the Air story, “we met and/or fell in love on or because of a United Flight.” Judging will be based on the story that is most heartwarming, funniest, most unique, incorporation of United employees, and tells the most complete story. Panel will judge on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest story score received.
Perhaps one day one of these competitions will figure out a way to survey every single employee, allowing the full company to express their view of the brand in selecting a winner.
The competition is open to anyone over the age of 21 in the United States.
With Valentine's Day falling on a Friday this year, everyone is deep into the travel martketing game, from Open Table to the Albuquerque CVB. The quantity of digital marketing is certainly much more robust this year than in previous years.
What other marketing are you seeing around the travel industry this year?