Airlines, airports, and hotels were once considered straight-forward service providers that got a traveler from point A to B as safely and comfortably as possible.
Today, they’ve taken on new life as lifestyle brands, representing a certain style of travel that’s pushed more through their marketing channels than actual products.
Below is a look at how some of these brands are using creative analogies to communicate their desired feel.
Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport shows off its attractions including swimming pools, saunas, and brand-name restaurants through the eyes of a very unlikely traveler — a penguin.
Dubai Airports’ final message to viewers is that they can tailor their experience “their own way” since there are so many options, but the thread between the airport, a penguin, and a customized experience gets lost along the way.
Air France visualizes what the concepts of “France” and “love” look like in the air by sending dancers on swing chairs through a space that takes on the appearance of a plane. Although beautiful and sweet, the ad says next to nothing about air travel which is evidence of travel companies’ transition into lifestyle brands.
Hotels.com sticks with its shtick with two new ads that play off the obviousness of the website’s URL. The first, in which Captain Obvious repeats himself several times, will rub some consumers’ nerves while the second, which features a pants-less employee who comes face-to-face with his co-workers, is genuinely funny. Even more than making viewers laugh, the ultimate goal is getting the brand name stuck inside their heads.
Cathay Pacific positions itself as travelers’ home away from home by, unfortunately, making a business travelers’ adventures in a new country seem uncomfortable and tough. Although an airline should provide great service, it can complement rather than replace a positive in-country experience.
Motel 6 is not perceived as a particular tech-friendly brand and it’s latest ad leans into that by suggesting that many of today’s “innovations” aren’t so forward-thinking after all. It also, however, joins the ranks of all major hotel groups by pushing its app and mobile booking, with a goal at meeting today’s travelers’ expectations.
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