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Travel and Tourism

Airlines Now Want You to Instagram Your Flight

Instagram users: what’s a more obvious photo subject than your brunch, your baby, your half-drunk friends or the landscape near your house at sunset? Apparently the answer is “views from a plane”, because today Digiday tells us that two airlines saw a big marketing opportunity in new FAA regulations allowing for the use of portable devices throughout every flight.

Delta and JetBlue are both promoting the hashtag #below10Kfeet, the point being that pics taken below the clouds are a hell of a lot more interesting—and now you don’t have to wait until the plane hits the 10K mark to break out the iPhone.

Delta went more aggressive out of the gate, turning the tag into a contest in which the best photographer will win two first-class tickets to anywhere within the US. But we prefer JetBlue’s way of showing us why the development matters:

below10kf_2

It’s true! But don’t you dare try to raise the price on window seats…

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Mount Vernon Promo Casts George Washington as Presidential Badass

“While you can’t re-elect him, you can reacquaint yourself with him.”

That’s the line used to sell a weekend trip to Mount Vernon, “the original Washington Monument”, in this smart clip created by Havit to promote tourism at the Original President’s favorite place to hang out, tend to his tobacco farm and discuss the day’s events with his 318 slaves.

Great idea to frame it as a campaign ad spoof casting Washington as a candidate in order to make the prospect of visiting Mount Vernon just a tiny bit more hip.

One request we think the clip could have included for the benefit of tourists: stop asking him about the wooden teeth and the hemp already. No, they weren’t wood—and it was the (17)60′s, man! Everybody was doing it!

(H/T to the always-great Ad Freak)

Showtunes Meet Seatbelts As Airlines Compete for ‘Campiest Safety Video’

Airlines have now decided that the only way to distinguish themselves from their competitors is to make ever-campier safety videos. The newest clip from Virgin America hit the Internets today, and it has all of director John Chu’s trademark Step Up 2: The Streets subtlety.


This is all just waaaaaay over the top, and the ”people who probably shouldn’t be rapping” joke is at least thirty years old.

These clips are a good way to get media attention in a hyper-competitive industry with shockingly low profit margins, and we’re glad the dancers and choreographers are getting paid. The strategy keeps working for Air New Zealand, so why not follow their model?

But this video is campier than the one episode of Glee that we watched two years ago—and you can expect more of the same to come.

Hey, Massachusetts: Ylvis’ Follow-Up to ‘The Fox’ Should be Your Next Tourism Campaign

ma93As a lifelong Massachusetts resident, I’ve lived with the perpetual mix of embarrassment/pride associated with the MA tourism campaign from the 80′s that just won’t die; it’s been a long-running joke among MA residents (and other New Englanders) for decades, and lest we forget the maddeningly catchy and sickeningly sweet “The Spirit of Massachusetts is The Spirit of America” song that accompanied the commercial, we need only drive down the street to see the phrase “The Spirit of America” plastered on virtually every license plate in the state. And suddenly, we’re humming the song all over again in a sick, sad, hyper-patriotic deja vu.

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about and want to subject yourself to the flag-waving wonder that was this campaign, here’s a video of the retro commercial:

What could possibly ever top that? Well, nothing (in my humble opinion) ever has, but I think I have finally stumbled across a song and video rabid enough in their (rather erotic) love of the Bay State to finally give this classic campaign the fitting follow-up it so deserves. The song is called, simply, “Massachusetts”, and is performed by the Norwegian band Ylvis, the geniuses who had you singing the question “What does the fox say?” in maniacal repetition only a few short weeks ago. Read more

Beyoncé Gives New Zealand Tourism Some Free Publicity

Beyoncé loves Auckland. The honorable Mrs. Carter took some time off from her tour last weekend to do a bit of freefall jumping and take in the sights around New Zealand’s biggest city—and she made sure her millions of followers knew all about it.

Here she is on Instagram about to shame acrophobics everywhere by taking the plunge at SkyJump, one of Auckland’s top tourist attractions:

Don't fall. Oh wait.

Her webpage also features a series of shots, like the one below taken by her photographer Rob Hoffman, that double as advertising for Kiwi tourism.

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JetBlue’s Premium Service Rollout Strategy: ‘Don’t Call It First Class’

jetblue-mint-serviceWe’ve been watching JetBlue‘s “Mint” service rollout campaign with interest this summer because it makes for a great case study in brand messaging.

The basics are these: JetBlue has, despite some colorful incidents, established a reputation as the “we all fly coach” airline for the little guy—an image reinforced by clever “we get it” stunt campaigns. The Mint offering toys with that equation by giving certain passengers on certain cross-country flights (New York to LA and, later in 2014, NY to San Francisco) a “premium experience”, but during the rollout, JetBlue’s comms team has taken every opportunity to remind the public and the media not to call it “first class.”

The web copy is telling:

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 11.45.15 AM

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Study: Young Folks Love to Travel (and Complain About Your Travel Clients)

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Here are some alternately encouraging/frustrating results from the latest Harris Interactive poll on the behavior of those pesky Millennials: they travel a lot and they’re not afraid to spend money, but they’re also far more likely to share their disapproval of less-than-satisfactory hospitality experiences with the rest of the world.

The basic findings:

  • Professionals 30 and under travel significantly more—for both business and pleasure—than their older counterparts. They’re much more likely to turn business trips into personal vacations.
  • While traveling, they spend money freely: 42% of the “Millennial” contingent say they would use company funds to buy “a fancy meal” and 32% said they’d spring for room service.
  • Yet they’re quick to warn the public about bad service: 26% said they’d posted at least one negative review online over the past year.

So they’re liberal with their definition of “business expenses”, but they’re very critical of the service they receive.

You’re probably aware of this, but most travel brands have begun creating campaigns aimed specifically at this demographic: USA Today names Marriott‘s “Travel Brilliantly“, but expect more campaigns that emphasize quality of experience over price point to appear on mobile and social platforms.

Also: those negative reviews will just keep coming. So…yay?

Betty White Takes Air New Zealand’s Latest Video to the Next Level

If Betty White were anyone else, we would have grown tired of her by now. But somehow she just stays cool. It’s quite impressive.

Air New Zealand, which already cemented its identity as a super “quirky” brand by featuring Richard Simmons, Bilbo Baggins, David Hasselhoff and a pair of conjoined sheep in its flight safety videos, has taken a step up the cultural ladder with this clip:

Even if you think White’s shtick is worn out (and we don’t), you have to admire a brand that carves out such a unique niche for itself and sticks with it. Compare this to your usual flight safety videos in which a suit-and-tie CEO discusses the integrity of his company while stock-photo models show you how to vomit into a paper bag. Big difference.

We might even say we envy ANZ’s AOR PadillaCRT, because why wouldn’t we?

H/T to Skift

American Express and TripAdvisor Want to Keep Your User Reviews Honest

I'm dreaming of more money.

Oh yeah, she’s a member.

Online reviews are important. Online reviews are completely unreliable. Today is Wednesday.

Here’s one more undeniable fact: American Express has teamed up with TripAdvisor in a noble attempt to keep user reviews as honest as they can possibly be. The project might not be quite as revolutionary as it sounds, though.

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How Much Will Airbnb Damage the Hospitality Industry?

Fancy pants.We’re going to take a wild guess here: your travel and hospitality clients hate Airbnb.

Why wouldn’t they? Vacationers and business travelers alike are quite keen on the idea of saving time and money by renting someone’s room for a few days. Despite the fact that this subletting practice is illegal in some states, recent cases reveal that the government and the hotel industry may not have much power to stop it.

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman wants to crack down on Airbnb just like he cracked down on the firms that pay for fake client reviews on Yelp and Amazon, but the courts have told him “not so fast”. And just like the “reputation firms”, these newfangled sublet companies will almost certainly keep popping up.

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