Travel Accommodation: Marketing Campaigns
"One Mission" by Booking.com, "Broaden Your Mind" by Expedia, and "A First Person Experience" by Trivago are three examples of recent marketing campaigns or promotions that directly challenge Airbnb. These three commercials feature parity elements that show quality and superiority in their respective business models, marketing strategies, and product offerings. Following are elaborate details on each of the three commercials.
BOOKING.COM'S ONE MISSION
- Booking.com combined clips of its 14,000 employees while they traveled to create a beautiful campaign about the moments, experiences, and emotions of living in another country. The ad, “One Mission,” rivals Airbnb’s business model because it also advertises the same experiences, products, and services Airbnb markets to its audience.
- For instance, Airbnb’s commercial, “Don’t Go There, Live There” encourages its audience to experience the world, which is the same message the “One Mission” ad by booking.com conveys.
- The message of experiencing the world remains popular throughout the commercials. Various clips cut from both ads use beautiful experiences and emotions to exemplify the parity between the products, experiences, and services both companies offer.
- For instance, in Airbnb’s commercial, a host says “come in, come in” with a big smile as he welcomes a guest suggesting that they may have known each other for long. Equally, in Booking.com’s “One Mission” commercial, a lady alights from a car to hug another lady rushing towards her in a highly emotional encounter.
- In this regard, both commercials seek to show similar beautiful moments and emotions their customers experience when using their services; therefore, signifying the equality and superiority of the products and services Airbnb and Booking.com provide.
“BROADEN YOUR MIND” BY EXPEDIA
- With competition intensifying in the travel and booking market, key players are reinventing their marketing strategies. Expedia, for instance, in one of its commercial focuses on marketing its offerings using a concept similar to that of Airbnb.
- The commercial dubbed "Broaden Your Mind," features a woman traveling the world and interacting with different cultures, helping others, and fighting for various causes.
- "Broaden Your Mind" seeks to inspire and encourage Expedia's audience that traveling broadens the mind and destroys barriers. The commercial conveys a powerful message that by traveling, "You'll narrowly influence some narrow minds," bridge continents, and punctures prejudice to make the world a better place.
- The strategy deployed and the message in the commercial dovetails nicely with Airbnb’s “Don’t Go There. Live There” campaign, which encourages people to travel, experience, interact, and feel a sense of place across cultures, continents, and life stages.
- Adage also reported that "Broaden Your Mind" is a thought-provoking spot, with echoes of Airbnb's recent campaign, "Don't Go There. Live There."
- The passionate emotions and beautiful experiences the campaign portrays reinvent traveling as not only a means of getting away but also a way of making the world a better place and living a better life.
TRIVAGO — A FIRST PERSON EXPERIENCE
- Trivago's shifting business model has the potential of disrupting the travel and accommodation landscape further, as shown in their recent commercial "A First Person Experience." Just like Airbnb and Booking.com, Trivago is also marketing experiences as filter options in their search options besides the usual ones on dates, price, website, etc.
- The new website interface features additional filters that include experiences such as, "party people, sailing, hiking trail, massage, honeymoon, etc. to connect users with potential hotels they started offering, and link them with hotels or spaces with the amenities they desire.
- The transition from primarily comparing hotels to offering alternative search filters and hotel products for customers, Trivago is creating a new business model that can potentially compete directly with Airbnb. By trying to become more all-encompassing in this segment by promoting alternative accommodation, Trivago can expand its alternative accommodation options beyond Stayz.
- The inspirational commercial that combines experiences and filters to suggest and market to customers different accommodation options uses the company's existing data, which they discovered features metasearches like "to find the best experience."
- By shifting from the previous instructional type of campaign for Trivago's previous business model, the inclusion of accommodation options, a blog that features different boutique hotels, and filters for specific experiences, Trivago aims to position itself as an industry expert, and not a search engine.
- Importantly, Trivago expressed that it is “very open” to partnering with Airbnb in the future, following its recent partnership with HomeAway, owner of Stayz.
- The campaign's use of filters to market particular experiences to its potential customers, including hotel options offering such experiences, aligns with Airbnb's commercial "Don't Go There. Live There," which also uses emotions and experiences to inspire its audience.
The research team examined the recent commercials by the major travel accommodation players to identify campaigns that directly challenge Airbnb. It turns out that Booking.com, Expedia, and Trivago have campaigns that focus on marketing experiences while spreading a sense of belonging despite traveling abroad or visiting different cultures. The commercials available free online on YouTube and iSpot TV. In the three ads, there are several elements of parity exhibited. For instance, all marketing is based on experiences, which Trivago incorporated in its search filters in their new marketing and business model. Each case was examined individually by leveraging information pulled from marketing reports, company press releases, and expert reviews of the specific campaigns, along with the audio and video descriptions in each commercial. Meanwhile, key players in the industry face mounting competition as new and existing players alike seek to disrupt the current state of the market. The competition has forced industry leaders, such as Booking.com and Expedia, to align their marketing concept with that of Airbnb by focusing on experiences and adventure. Overall, the prevalent theme across all marketing content revolved around discovering new places and experiencing life everywhere.