Booking.com, which has marketing relationships with the International Cricket Council and the Union of European Football Associations, is playing ball with Major League Baseball.
The company will officially announce today that it has become Major League Baseball’s official online travel partner. Among travel-related services, the league also counts MGM Resorts and Capital One, which offers Capital One Travel, as official sponsors. Marriott has also been a partner.
Booking.com declined to release financial details of the marketing partnership, but said fans will begin to see Booking.com branding in baseball stadiums across the U.S., and there will be a new media campaign getting under way in several weeks.
With the launch, the official schedule pages of Major League Baseball teams will feature Booking.com icons that direct people to search and book accommodations near stadiums.
A recent Booking.com survey found that 49 percent of U.S. baseball fans plan to travel to at least one game in 2023, and 61 percent would be open to traveling as far as 500 miles to see teams play.
Booking.com, based in Amsterdam, has been making significant inroads in the U.S. market, trying to challenge Washington-based Expedia as the market leader.
An ad by the Lufthansa Group has been banned in the UK after it was found to mislead consumers over the airline’s carbon emissions reduction efforts.
The ad in question was released last May with the tagline: “Connecting the World. Protecting its Future. #MakeChangeFly.” It was part of a campaign by Lufthansa to promote its efforts to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, including using more low-emission sustainable aviation fuels, and buying more fuel efficient aircraft.
However, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority found Wednesday that the ad, which did not include any specific details of Lufthansa’s decarbonization efforts, was “ambiguous and not clearly linked to the environment,” and could mislead consumers.
“The tagline … was open to interpretation, but in conjunction with the imagery it would not be understood as an absolute promise about their service, especially one linked to the environment, that their services caused no harm to the environment,” the advertising regulator said.
In its defense, Lufthansa told the authority that the ad was not intended to be taken in isolation and included a hyperlink to a website that outlined its decarbonization efforts.
The Advertising Standards Authority found that the ad violated UK law after it “concluded that, because the basis of the claim had not been made clear and it had not been adequately substantiated.”
United’s ad features a family from Denver gathering, with the on-screen text saying at the end of the 30-second spot, “United got more families in and out of Denver this holiday than any other airline. Despite the weather.” The Chicago-based carrier said it would run the ad in the Denver and Colorado Springs TV markets.
It’s tough for a National Football League team to make a return trip in two consecutive years to the Super Bowl, but online travel company Booking.com will be doing just that with a fourth quarter advertisement during the telecast.
Here’s the advertisement:
Booking.com Chief Marketing Officer Arjan Dijk announced on LinkedIn that the Amersterdam-based online travel agency would run a spot for the second year in a row featuring its Booking.yeah tagline. Melissa McCarthy, who’s won Emmy Awards and been nominated for Academy Awards, headlines the advertisement, and whimsically touts the wonders of stays at hotels and short-term rentals when booked on Booking.com.
Although some advertisers reined in their budgets for some Google products, the company’s travel and retail verticals led Google’s search and other revenues in the third quarter.
Parent company Alphabet recently reported that its search and other revenue categories grew 4 percent during the third quarter to $40 billion, spearheaded by travel and retail.
The company declined, during an earnings call with analysts last month about the quarter that ended September 30, to provide additional detail on the performance of its various verticals.
“In challenging times like these, advertisers are carefully evaluating the effectiveness of their budgets,” said Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler. “Search tends to do relatively well in such an environment, given its strong measurability and focus on delivering ROI (Return on Investment). It’s also well-suited to quickly adjust to changes in consumer behavior.”
Travel’s strength in Google search — notice the company mentioned travel first, before retail — came as a variety of travel businesses posted strong third quarters based on consumers still wanting to board flights despite the cancellation crapshoot over the summer.
Alphabet’s net income for the third quarter fell 26 percent to $13.9 billion on $69 billion in revenue, a 6 percent increase.
A company that helps advertisers streamline modern ad campaigns is moving further into the travel industry through a new partnership.
Clinch, headquartered in New York City, said this week that it had started a “new relationship” with Nebraska-based Sojern.
Clinch’s so-called “flight control” software suite is meant to help advertisers more easily build data-driven, personalized ad campaigns.
Sojern is a travel-focused digital marketing platform that uses consumer data to help hospitality companies secure bookings. The company, founded in 2007, has driven more than $15 billion in bookings for thousands of partners, according to its website.
The companies say that the partnership allows Clinch users to access Sojern’s capabilities.
“The ability to personalize and auto-optimize campaigns to match both environmental and user-based situations is paramount for this sector,” said Charel MacIntosh, head of business development and partnerships for Clinch, in a statement.
Google announced it will shut Book on Google for flights for users outside the U.S. at the end of September, and told Skift it will likewise end the feature in the U.S. sometime after March 31.
It turns out, a declining number of users were booking their flights on Google, which acknowledged that travelers would rather book their flights with online travel agencies or directly with airlines.
To be clear, Google Flights is not shutting down, but will continue to enable travelers to click on airline and online travel agency links to book their flights, as they have done for years for the vast majority of flights. What changes is that Google will no longer take a small share of bookings on Google channels, but will refer all users to partners for bookings.
Eliminating the feature likewise doesn’t hurt Google’s case to beat back regulatory efforts to diminish its power on antitrust grounds.
With the Book on Google feature for flights, travelers can book on Google, but Google was just facilitating the booking for that airline or online travel agency, and the latter provided the customer service function. Google wasn’t charging airlines for the feature.
“Over the next 12 months, we plan to phase out the Book on Google feature for Flights,” Google stated. “We originally offered this functionality to give people a simpler way to buy their tickets and to help our partner airlines and OTAs receive more bookings. However, we’ve found over time that people actually want to book directly on partner websites, and we always strive to meet user preferences whenever possible.”
Some pundits saw Book on Google as the company creeping toward becoming an online travel agency, but that never appeared to be the intent. Google makes too much money on travel advertising to want to directly compete with its biggest partners. Google also has no interest in dealing with flight changes and cancellations, or in providing customer service to stranded travelers.
Google launched Book on Google in 2015 as a way to facilitate bookings for airlines and online travel agencies in an era when many of their mobile websites weren’t particularly sophisticated.
But partners’ mobile capabilities have improved in the interim, and Google said it saw a declining share of flight bookings coming from the Book on Google feature.
Many metasearch sites over the years have tried these types of facilitated bookings for partner airlines and hotels, but with a few exceptions, such as HomeToGo in Germany, this type of feature has been waning for years.
You know travel is back when….arch rival tour operators G Adventures and Intrepid Travel have both unveiled new ad campaigns targeting commuters across London’s transport systems.
G Adventures’ “When was the last time you felt like this?” campaign, in which the company aims to showcase the joys of small-group adventures, features digital posters in London Underground stations and escalators. The month-long promotion, which is taking place while rail strikes disrupt travel in the United Kingdom, is targeting prospective customers who have returned to their offices.
“With London office workers quickly returning to our capital, that sense of ‘Groundhog Day’ was starting to set in,” said G Adventures Marketing Director Ant Stone.
London’s free newspapers, the Evening Standard and Metro, will also feature weekly content from G Adventures.
Meanwhile, Intrepid Travel has posted ads in London Underground stations and on buses, among other places, featuring the slogan “Travel Is Back For Good.” It’s the company’s first-ever big brand campaign in the UK.
Ever wonder about the daunting challenge that Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern inherited from predecessors Dara Khosrowshahi and Mark Okertstrom when Kern took the chief executive spot under Barry Diller in 2020?
The pandemic notwithstanding, Expedia Group captured its infrastructure issues in one slide as part of an investor presentation at Cowen 50th Anniversary Technology, Media & Telecom Conference Wednesday.
Many of the Group’s major brands, from Expedia to Hotels.com and Vrbo, had their own product, marketing and tech teams who were working at cross-purposes and competing against each other.
Competition can light a fire under a marketing group, for example, but did it make sense for Expedia and Hotels.com to bid against one another in Google search, and likely drive up costs?
Elsewhere in the presentation Expedia noted that before it undertook its drive to simplify things it had more than 10 competing brands, five loyalty programs, more than 10 checkout experiences, and “siloed data lakes.”
In the interim, Expedia Group has made a splash consolidating many of these teams, and shedding brands including Egencia, SilverRail, Alice, Classic Vacations, and Expedia Local Expert. Not to mention BodyBuilding.com, which Expedia acquired when it bought Liberty Expedia Holdings.
The goal is “to build a single tech platform,” the presentation said.
We’ve heard Expedia talk of building a solitary tech platform for many years under prior regimes, but it seemingly never happened.
Snap claimed Etihad trimmed its “costs per flight search” four-fold using Snap’s new dynamic travel ads, which is now rolled out globally.
This ad format, according to Snap, is a travel category expansion that enables advertisers, including airlines, hotels, destinations and tour operators, to engage in advanced audience targeting based on a Snapchatter’s travel intent and backed by local relevance.”
“With travel demand seeing a continued strong recovery in Q1 2022, we were of course keen to capitalize by converting existing customers and, importantly, acquiring new ones,” Phil Dodwell, who heads marketing at Etihad, said in a statement. “However, the marketplace for air travel remains highly competitive so ensuring relevance is key.”
He said the airline will be continuing to use Snap’s dynamic travel ads in the second quarter, and particularly likes the format’s prospecting capabilities.