Being a travel writer at a top content marketing company means always being on the lookout for what travel brands are up to. It’s an industry that lends itself to fun, innovative and inspiring campaigns, but they have to be particularly well crafted to stand out in such a busy marketplace.
So which campaigns have caught my attention so far this year? Read on to find out.
#GOBACKPACK – Jack Wolfskin
It’s long been recognised that the people who use a product are the best at marketing it. After all, they know how to engage with the target because they are the target audience. The problem that arises is how to obtain quality user-generated content without a huge amount of initial outlay.
Jack Wolfskin found the perfect way to tap into the wealth of talent exhibited in its customers with its #GOBACKPACK campaign. It’s a simple premise, but one that I think is ingenious and has led to some fantastic user-generated content being produced, with no initial outlay for the company.
The way it works is that customers get a #GOBACKPACK flag when they buy an item from the Jack Wolfskin online or physical shop. They then feature the flag in a travel video they film on their adventures. Submitting the video and having it accepted, along with the receipt to the company means they can get cashback for the full cost of the original piece of kit they purchased.
Resulting videos have included the flag being filmed at geysers and waterfalls in Iceland; trekking on the Great Wall of China; against a backdrop of a Peru Rail train in South America; and everywhere in between. Slowly but surely, the map of the world is filling up with Jack Wolfskin pawprints.
It really works for Jack Wolfskin’s demographic, as its young, outdoorsy, adventurous customers are likely to be travelling with a GoPro anyway. The lure of getting their adventure kit refunded is also great motivation to hand over their content to the company to inspire others to put Jack Wolfskin products at the heart of their expeditions.
What will your cat think? – British Airways
There’s nothing unusual about scrolling through your Facebook feed and seeing videos of cats. What is more out of the ordinary, is when the videos have been shared by the national carrier and not your great aunt Norah. That’s right, British Airways decided to tap into the cosiest of bedfellows – social media and cats – to sell holidays. And it worked!
A video captioned “What will your cat think when he finds you’re off on a British Airways city break?” received more than a million views on Facebook. Add to this the 10,000 emoji reactions, 1,600 comments and 4,383 shares and it’s safe to say that it engaged with the airline’s audience.
What’s brilliant about the video is the witty voiceover, which provides just the right amount of sarcasm and taps into the reverence that cat lovers have for their pets. It starts with: “What is it about cats and suitcases?” as a little white face pops out of the pocket of a partially packed case.
It goes on to highlight many of the features with which British Airways is trying to tempt customers. “Trust me, Mr Snuffles does not care that you’ll be flying to the city’s most central airport!” A series of clips of grumpy-looking cats – an internet staple – and a particularly sassy moggy removing its sunglasses in perceived exasperation, completes the ensemble, followed by the closing line: “Unfortunately for cats, with British Airways it’s easier to find your perfect city break.”
Sweden on Airbnb – Visit Sweden
The sharing economy is a concept familiar to most travellers and Airbnb is just one of the platforms that has facilitated its growth in recent years. But what happens when you want to share an entire nation with potential tourists? That is exactly what Visit Sweden did when it listed the whole country on Airbnb.
You see, the tourism organisation knows that it has to work harder than some of the other countries that are easy to market due to their headline attractions. It admits: “Sweden has no Eiffel Towers. No Niagara Falls or Big Bens. Not even a little Sphinx. Sweden has something else – the freedom to roam. This is our monument.”
This principle – the freedom to roam – is enshrined in Swedish law and allows anyone to enjoy the natural beauty of the country unhindered and free of charge. It sparked an idea in the clever marketing minds at Visit Sweden, who decided to list all of the country’s landscape on Airbnb.
From Treriksroset in the Arctic north to Malmo in the south, adverts for areas of Sweden have popped up on the website. Users may not notice anything odd at first – each post has been carefully assimilated with details about space, amenities and house rules – but on closer inspection, these are not ordinary listings!
An accompanying video voiced by Swedish resident Ake underpins the playfulness of the campaign. Talking through the features of his “home”, he includes infinity pools, a terrace and a bathroom. All of these elements are provided by nature and show the unique draw of Sweden. It may not have the Eiffel Tower, but it has cliffs with panoramic ocean views and cosy glades in beech forests, which more than make up for it.