Expedia Woos Tech-savvy Travelers with “Interac-phic”;

Digital traveller - Expedia

Puts Travel Factoids Easily at their Fingertips

When Expedia came to Hoffman and asked us to find a creative way to launch the results of its annual survey of travelers’ habits in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, it seemed like a slam-dunk PR campaign.

We soon learned that we faced several challenges:

  • First, there is a plethora of travel surveys and research studies on traveler trends in this region.
  • Second, Expedia faced intense competition from other travel portals conducting regular surveys.
  • Third, travel journalists were suffering from major travel-survey jet lag.
  • Fourth, we had to cut through the clutter to spark interest from travelers.

We went immediately into intel-gathering mode to guide our approach to sharing the Expedia survey results. Here’s what we learned:

  • Known as a mobile-first nation, Singapore reports the highest smartphone penetration in the world at 85 percent, according to Google’s Consumer Barometer.
  • Across Asia, many countries, including Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, have higher smartphone adoption than computer adoption.Digital traveller interac-phic - Expedia

This was a special bunch — they were travel-savvy, tech aficionados as well as being extremely social. Therefore, a standard infographic presenting survey stats wasn’t likely to grab the attention of these consumers or the media – our two primary audiences.

How could we reel them in with compelling content that was accessible on mobile devices while encouraging interaction and social sharing?

We decided to zig instead of zag; breaking new ground by creating an “interac-phic” (or interactive infographic).

The Anatomy of the Digital Traveler interac-phic brought the “Future of Travel” survey to life – its mobile-optimized design encouraged sharing, exploring and engagement for tech-savvy and social travelers.

Clicking on an animated image reveals specific travel trends, such as “79 percent of travelers in Singapore use smartphones when on a holiday.”

By taking the short quiz, users can compare survey findings with their own travel habits, and see how they fared against family and friends.

Travel trends - Expedia

Our out-of-the-box campaign had instant impact, with the “interac-phic” receiving more than 400 views in less than a week of going live, and close to 1,000 views in just one month. Expedia’s app and our PR outreach collectively netted more than 3 million views.

Travel-survey weary media definitely perked up at our fresh and interactive approach. In Singapore, alone, we secured interviews with national and regional broadcasters Channel NewsAsia and AsiaOne, and several dailies, including The Business Times and TODAY.

The PR campaign was designed to drive conversations around the Expedia app and sustain the momentum of these conversations, which also generated more traction on its pages, leading to even more interaction between travelers and Expedia.

Travel app video - Expedia

Expedia has enjoyed the extended life of this brand-building campaign, as even a year later, the level of chatter and engagement from on-the-go consumers remains steady.

As an added bonus, the campaign also earned high praise from Mob-Ex – Southeast Asia’s competition which recognizes the crème de la crème in mobile marketing excellence. Hoffman succeeded in cutting through the clutter of advertising and digital agencies in the same category, by taking home a Bronze Award for Best Use of Social Platform. In fact, we were the only PR agency to enter this category.

Our decision to zig instead of zag certainly paid off.