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THE BEST 
OF TRAVEL 
BRANDED 
CONTENT 
MARKETING 
With Winter rapidly approaching, 
we’ve been busy crowdsourcing 
some of...
ENGAGE | I 
NSPIRE | I 
NFORM
India’s largest media conglomerate The Times Group in partnership with leading online travel service 
provider Yatra.com s...
A Summer Without Rain was a campaign devised by McCann Erickson Norway to help promote the unique 
summer ticket offered b...
This Virgin Produced #VXsafetydance pop promo inspired safety video was nominated for the Webby 
Branded Content category ...
JWT transformed real 5-star traveller reviews on TripAdvisor for the Puerto Rico Government Tourism 
Company into stunning...
Stories Are Waiting is a Pinterest-style gallery that aims to inspire EUROSTAR customers to explore top 
destinations with...
As part of their reframing of customers as guests, and their role as hosts to the rapidly growing #bleisure 
traveller mar...
Global Pass from InterRail is more than just a marketing as service example, it sees them transform into a 
mobile operato...
Can sex save Denmark's future asks Danish travel agency Spies Rejser in a racy viral that calls for Danes 
to have more se...
While many focus on stunning dream-like inspiration during the early stages of the customer journey, 
Tourism Ireland is a...
Google emotionally engage audiences with their Reunion film that has been seen over 12 million times 
on YouTube. It highl...
WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON
RENAISSANCE OF THE BRANDED TRAVEL 
GUIDE AND OTHER SPONSORED BOOKS? 
Expect to see a renaissance of the branded travel gui...
CROWDSOURCED CONTENT 
VERSUS CURATED UCG? 
You can expert to see more travel brands crowdsourcing 
content through creativ...
MORE LONGER FORM 
BRANDED CONTENT? 
It’s likely we’ll see more longer form content 
aimed at capturing the hearts and mind...
This death-defying ride along the notorious Cuillin Ridgeline by Danny MacAskill on the Isle of Skye is 
actually sponsore...
MORE AGENCY FACILITATED BRAND 
ALLIANCES, MORE CONTINOUS 
CONTENT PRODUCTION AND KITTENS? 
It’s not just more agency facil...
MORE EARNED MEDIA PLANNING AND 
RESPONSIVE CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT 
Expect to see a lot more examples of what is becoming 
kno...
MORE COMPARATOR NOT JUST 
COMPETITOR INSPIRATION 
There's no shortage of rounds ups, reports and advice 
being dished out ...
This report was compiled by Justin Kirby, 
VP, Content Strategy at Tenthwave Digital. 
Justin is a writer, speaker, and st...
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BOBCM: Best of Travel Branded Content Marketing

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Crowdsourced report on the best of travel branded content marketing, together with some predictions about what's on the horizon for 2015.

Published in: Marketing
  • Very interesting Justin. I think it is clear that the bar is being set very high now, in terms of content. Consumers expect the high quality, beautifully scripted and shot stories. This will filter down eventually and it is becoming more and more accessible to smaller brands that don;t have the big budgets.
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BOBCM: Best of Travel Branded Content Marketing

  1. 1. THE BEST OF TRAVEL BRANDED CONTENT MARKETING With Winter rapidly approaching, we’ve been busy crowdsourcing some of the best examples of branded content in travel marketing from around the globe for you to enjoy, along with some crystal ball gazing about what might be on the travel marketing horizons next year. >>
  2. 2. ENGAGE | I NSPIRE | I NFORM
  3. 3. India’s largest media conglomerate The Times Group in partnership with leading online travel service provider Yatra.com showcases some of the India’s greatest & best Experience Architects on Times Passion Trails – offering inspiration to the experience enthusiast travel segment, and the opportunity to actualise their passions via unique travel challenge experiences.
  4. 4. A Summer Without Rain was a campaign devised by McCann Erickson Norway to help promote the unique summer ticket offered by Norwegian domestic airline Widerøe that allows you fly as much as you want across a country that probably has the most unstable and rainiest summer weather in the world. It resulted in the planes being overbooked during this period for the first time in the airline’s history.
  5. 5. This Virgin Produced #VXsafetydance pop promo inspired safety video was nominated for the Webby Branded Content category this year, and has been seen over 9 million times on YouTube – providing a more entertaining way of grabbing people's attention before take off when they're not normally engaging with the important safety information.
  6. 6. JWT transformed real 5-star traveller reviews on TripAdvisor for the Puerto Rico Government Tourism Company into stunning dream-like short films with voiceovers from the Island’s stars that were embedded into TripAdvisor – helping Puerto Rico become one of the top 10 searched for destinations in the world.
  7. 7. Stories Are Waiting is a Pinterest-style gallery that aims to inspire EUROSTAR customers to explore top destinations with film, photos and stories from the travellers, as well as top bloggers and photographers. You can read more about the origins of the campaign in the second edition of the Best of Branded Content Marketing here on Slideshare.
  8. 8. As part of their reframing of customers as guests, and their role as hosts to the rapidly growing #bleisure traveller market Renaissance Hotels has launched their R Navigator local expert guides who help provide inspiration on where to savor, sip, shop and what to see.
  9. 9. Global Pass from InterRail is more than just a marketing as service example, it sees them transform into a mobile operator by buying the leftover data from the networks to help the ‘flashpacker’ generation be always on, any time, any place – keeping in touch with friends and family even when they get arrested.
  10. 10. Can sex save Denmark's future asks Danish travel agency Spies Rejser in a racy viral that calls for Danes to have more sex while they're on holiday to help save the country. It also included an integrated promotion if couples then managed to conceive while on holiday. Do It For Denmark got international press coverage and clocked up over 7 million views on YouTube.
  11. 11. While many focus on stunning dream-like inspiration during the early stages of the customer journey, Tourism Ireland is another brand who’ve opted instead to engage audiences with humour. As their Central Marketing Director Mark Henry points out, this is how the Irish like things. They’ve been running a series of campaigns including the Escape The Madness in the run up to the 2012 Olympics (despite not being able to mention that word, of course!), and their promotion of The Gathering Ireland last year.
  12. 12. Google emotionally engage audiences with their Reunion film that has been seen over 12 million times on YouTube. It highlights their travel-related services, and shows how they helped bring together two childhood friends who were separated as as result of the partition of India and Pakistan.
  13. 13. WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON
  14. 14. RENAISSANCE OF THE BRANDED TRAVEL GUIDE AND OTHER SPONSORED BOOKS? Expect to see a renaissance of the branded travel guide like the R Navigator example, given the long history of the format in the sector (e.g. Michelin and Cook’s Tours guides), and recent research showing that 6 out of 10 people still use a guide book on holiday. Whether brands will move beyond their obsession with online content and start to see Amazon as a customer engagement channel like Twitter and Facebook remains to be seen, but, who knows, maybe next year some travel brand will even sponsor some free summer reads for you to enjoy, perhaps crowdsourced from a travel writing competition along the lines of the BAILEYS Womens Prize for Fiction.
  15. 15. CROWDSOURCED CONTENT VERSUS CURATED UCG? You can expert to see more travel brands crowdsourcing content through creative challenge platforms like MOFILM, Genero, and eYeka, e.g. travel versions of the Bombay Sapphire® Imagination Series film competition. But as Barney Worfolk Smith from Th@t Lot warns, there are challenges ensuring brand continuity with crowdsoucing. Another, perhaps more additive option, is to curate user-generated content, e.g. the 5-star traveler reviews on TripAdvisor and Stories Are Waiting examples mentioned earlier, or even the uber-successful Facebook page from Tourism Australia that receives over 900,000 photos daily and tens of thousands of 'likes' on each post.
  16. 16. MORE LONGER FORM BRANDED CONTENT? It’s likely we’ll see more longer form content aimed at capturing the hearts and minds of travellers in new and growing markets. Examples like The Reunion from Google, and Go further to get closer by British Airways India deal with issues that emotionally engage audiences, such as the impact of India’s partition and how young couples struggle to find time for each other having made work a top priority. As Rory Sutherland from Ogilvy Group UK points out, these are ideas that need more than a 30 second spiel to communicate.
  17. 17. This death-defying ride along the notorious Cuillin Ridgeline by Danny MacAskill on the Isle of Skye is actually sponsored by the Five Ten, Enve Composites, Red Bull and Santa Cruz Bikes, and has already been seen by several million. It could pave the way for the likes of Visit Scotland and others to take more risks too, and perhaps will also inspire more longer form and even feature length examples.
  18. 18. MORE AGENCY FACILITATED BRAND ALLIANCES, MORE CONTINOUS CONTENT PRODUCTION AND KITTENS? It’s not just more agency facilitated brand alliances that are being predicted, but also the evolution of contract publishing where content creators become agencies themselves, e.g. Unilever’s £1 million sponsorship of The Guardian’s newly formed branded content Labs. Then there’s the rising social stars, so expert to see travel reviews from YouTubers aimed at a younger audience, and maybe even cats giving holiday guidance to humans they care for via BuzzFeed. Other see a need for the production of more continuous content rather than ad-type campaigns based simply on ideas with legs, and by those that understand editorial and programming, such as publishers and broadcasters.
  19. 19. MORE EARNED MEDIA PLANNING AND RESPONSIVE CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT Expect to see a lot more examples of what is becoming known as earned media planning, where brands pre-plan 'spontaneous' customer engagement through social, i.e. along the calendar of the travel customer decision journey: dreaming > researching > booking > experiencing > sharing. Also expect more responsive campaign management like the way Expedia Canada dealt with the negative social sentiment about the “shrill” violin in their Winter Escape – Fear ad. After a joking apology was sent out to dissenters from Expedia via Twitter and Facebook (together with a new ad where the violin gets thrown out the window), the Expedia team ended up going round to one of the dissenters homes and gave him the violin to destroy. Now that’s one way of showing customers you are listening.
  20. 20. MORE COMPARATOR NOT JUST COMPETITOR INSPIRATION There's no shortage of rounds ups, reports and advice being dished out about travel marketing by industry analysts and experts. But you might want to look at what good likes like beyond your industry and competitors. As Mittu Sridhara from TUI Travel Plc explained earlier this year, when they continue to scan the market to look at what competitors are doing, they look at anyone who is out there potentially servicing customers in a better way: “Your best experience is your best experience and it doesn’t matter whether that’s in travel or if it happened in a shop, or it happened on a web site.” That’s why we’ll be producing more mini-reports looking at other markets that we hope you’ll enjoy.
  21. 21. This report was compiled by Justin Kirby, VP, Content Strategy at Tenthwave Digital. Justin is a writer, speaker, and strategist who curates the Best of Branded Content Marketing (#BOBCM) eBook and event series in partnership with the Branded Content Marketing Association (BCMA). @juzzie We’re launching a new site at BOBCM.NET soon, and are planning a live event in London early next year. In the meantime, if you are interested in finding out more, or you have news or case studies to share, please join the #BOBCM LinkedIn Group or email us at: hello@bobcm.net

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