Creating travel marketing campaign themes in the Covid age

When you’re working on a marketing campaign, you’ll no doubt be thinking about the key messages you want to convey: an offer, an announcement, a season launch, a sale.

When the campaign’s done well, you’ll also be thinking about what you want­­­ it to be remembered for, and how you want it to make people feel. In other words, the core theme.

Travel and tourism brands have had to embrace a whole set of new campaign themes due to the coronavirus pandemic. While in 2019 they were focused on adventure, excitement and immediacy, in 2020 they turned to safety, trust and inspiration for the future.

Austria Winter Campaign

When Austria wasn’t able to make the most of its 2020-2021 ski season, and promoting travel from abroad would have seemed inappropriate, its tourism board kept itself in the minds of potential visitors with a theme centred on kindness and empathy in response to Covid-19.

The Austrian National Tourist Office’s goal was to urge people to be responsible, stay at home and follow government guidelines through the message that “when you love something, you keep it safe”: and a reminder that all the beautiful scenery and thrilling activities will be waiting.

It also ran a giveaway allowing people to ‘Gift a Friend a Holiday in Austria’ by telling the tourism board why they deserved a break. The winner was a midwife from the UK who received a flexible offer of a week-long stay in Tirol’s SkiWelt resort, with an extra ‘twist’ being that the friend who nominated her also won a holiday “for being so kind to her friend”.

Digital Dialog worked with the Austrian National Tourist Office to promote these campaigns in the UK, helping to increase destination awareness and spread their new tone of voice via programmatic video and YouTube including placements on Smart TVs.

Using a variety of video assets ranging from 6 seconds to 60 seconds, all built around the kindness and empathy themes, the campaign targeted winter sports enthusiasts and people interested in family holidays without it seeming like people were being encouraged to flout the rules.

The campaign deliverables were exceeded by a huge 70% due to rigorous campaign optimisation, with placements on top UK media sites including independent.co.uk, tripadvisor.co.uk, standard.co.uk and news.sky.com. This was also on account of leveraging lower ad prices seen during the pandemic on some platforms.

British Airways High Life Magazine

Digital Dialog has also been working with British Airways High Life magazine, which recently became a digital-only publication as a result of the pandemic, on promoting both its latest content and its new identity.

The brand’s campaigns centred around informative, inspirational travel content that would get people clicking without feeling out-of-touch with current times.

Posts were promoted on programmatic native content platforms, with content displayed on high-quality websites in a variety of sizes.

The campaign targeting included reaching an audience similar to existing British Airways customers, such as Executive Club members and frequent fliers who may already be familiar with the magazine and interested to see its online counterpart. Digital Dialog also targeted people who would be interested in the content of the magazine regardless of its association with the airline, for example high-end shoppers for a Christmas gift guide editorial. 

This has been a tough year for tourism and travel businesses, but creative campaign themes have successfully laid the groundwork for future conversions when the time comes.

If you’re a marketer, it’s crucial that your work is seen by the right people in the right markets and through the right channels. Get in touch with Digital Dialog to discuss how we can help you do so.

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