First Free Story (1 of 3)

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This week’s roundup of travel ads look at brands who are hoping to align themselves with the very human experiences of adventure, nostalgia, and love.

By telling human stories, they seek to position themselves as the facilitators of these emotions.


British Airways cleverly worked with two lifestyle magazine editors to create an ad that can live on in video and social media. The airline challenged the two editors to learn as much as they could about one another and then plan a 24-hour trip for the other. Their subsequent adventures to Madrid and Helsinki were then chronicled on social media and their respective publications. British Airways’ underlying message of “seize the moment” was spread across all mediums in an authentic and interesting way.

Etihad Airways is looking to tap the large expat Indian community by following the journey of an Indian man who is traveling home from the U.S. for the first time in two years. The ad positions Etihad as an integral part of the trip home, with the trip starting as soon as a customer boards the plane. British Airways has also tapped the large customer base with a series of tear-jerking videos.

Fiji Airways taps professional American surfer Kelly Slater to speak about his experience with Fiji, a place that he calls his second home. He spends more of the video speaking about his experiences in the destination than the flight itself, quietly suggesting that the same ethos of community and kindness on the land area also present on the national carrier. The video has a very authentic feel to it.

Expedia is capitalizing on the Valentine’s Day buzz with a short ad that shows couples engaging in public displays of affection in very public areas. It suggests that they get a room and then incentivizes the viewer with a $50 coupon to do just that. Well played, Expedia.

San Diego is pushing a message of sun and fun as part of a new $9 million ad campaign. The quick colorful videos position San Diego as a relaxing but upbeat getaway, which is exactly what consumers want from it, according to the local tourism authority’s in-depth research.

Photo Credit: Professional American surfer Kelly Slater talks about his love for Fiji in a recent Fiji Airways ad. Fiji Airways / YouTube