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Expedia: Where you book no longer matters

Jul 11, 2012 8:51 am

Skift Take

Expedia’s new and inspirational “Find Yours” advertising campaign really sets a new social-media-driven tone.

— Dennis Schaal

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Source: Skift
Author: Dennis Schaal

Expedia dropped its “Where you book matters” tagline in favor of an inspirational “Find Yours” moniker and rebranding campaign, supported by user-generated content and blogger sponsorships.

Online travel agencies, such as Expedia, long have focused on the transaction, the culmination of the travel planning and booking process, and have given short shrift to the inspirational and demand-creating aspects of travel.

Leave that to the travel startups and niche players, the OTAs sniffed.

But, to a degree, Expedia’s new, multifaceted advertising campaign, shows that YouTube, Vimeo, social media and the blogosphere have changed all that.

Still, don’t expect to see such a free-wheeling, dream-heavy campaign from Priceline any time soon because Priceline would likely would view it all as a distraction from the business at hand — converting lookers into bookers.

Expedia’s Find Yours campaign, the first effort by its newly installed advertising agency, 180LA, includes national TV spots, infused with the stories and images of real travelers; mini-documentaries from recruited filmmakers; photo and story-sharing on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest; and sponsored blogger trips and events.

To get a flavor of it all, here’s the YouTube clip, “Expedia Find Yours Anthem:”

Find your seat.

Find your new thing.

Find your past.

Find your future.

Expedia can help you do it all. That’s the anthem’s subtext.

I argued a year-and-a-half ago that the Expedia tagline, “Where you book matters,” was outdated and should be dropped.

Sure, from Expedia’s standpoint, it was important that you book with Expedia — and it still is, of course.

But, in an era of tablets, iPhones, Blackberrys (for now), Android devices and social media, it no longer matters where or how you book.

And, notice that the word “book” is no longer in the discovery-rich Find Yours tagline.

Or, as Expedia puts it in the campaign’s promotional materials: “It is a move away from the commoditized feel of online travel booking, and a move towards the transcendent bliss of the perfect vacation.”

Hedging its bets

But, transcendent bliss only goes so far.

While you can find “Find Yours” midway down the Expedia.com homepage in advertising, in the hashtag #ExpediaFindYours and in a link to the above video and TV spot, so far Find Yours can’t be found in the Expedia logo atop the homepage.

After all, there’s a time for booking and a time for inspiration, so let’s not get carried away with all of that wanderlusting.

Expedia discovers the blogosphere

At the same time, Expedia is now all-in with using bloggers to back its message and business as part of the Find Yours campaign and beyond it.

TripStyler and The Planet D, for example, will do mini-documentaries to support the campaign, Expedia says, and there will be sponsored trips to the “Running of the Bulls” in Pamplona, Spain; Las Vegas, and a college football tour in the U.S.

The campaign has a prominent presence on TripStyler, for example, with an advertisement for a Find Yours contest and then the blogger expounding on her supportive video and Expedia’s:

“The video is part of a large-scale campaign Expedia officially launched this week, called Find Yours. I cry when I watch my own video {this is weird, I know}, and the tears start flowing again when I watch the newly-minted campaign anthem video crowdsourced from real stories online {below}!”

A little weird, yes, especially the part about crying when viewing the Expedia video.

And, Expedia is also putting its money behind the very worthy and blogger-run Passports with Purpose project, and is sponsoring TBEX 2012.

Where you book no longer matters, but blogger-influencers obviously do.

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