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Expedia drives mobile bookings via TV campaign, trip-a-day giveaway

Expedia is promoting mobile booking via its travel application with a television ad campaign and sweepstakes giving anyone who downloads the app a chance to win a free trip.

The Expedia “Find Your Spontaneity” TV campaign showcases the Expedia mobile app and how easy it is to book a trip on the spur of the moment as well as the Trip A Day Giveaway sweepstakes. The Expedia app enables users to book flights and hotels, view itineraries in real-time and save up to 40 percent on mobile exclusive offers.

“Like with all TV campaigns, the primary objective is to drive awareness,” said Vic Walia, senior director of brand marketing at Expedia, Bellevue, WA. “We know that not everyone will be ready to download the app immediately, so keeping our brand – and, in this case, our mobile app – top of mind is important.

“However, for this commercial, we also have a very compelling offer – a free trip, awarded each day, to someone who downloads the app,” he said. “So one of the goals is also increase in app downloads as a result of our compelling offer and engaging commercial.

Being spontaneous
The campaign runs through to Oct. 13, with ads appearing during popular shows such as Top Chef Masters, Real Housewives, The Daily Show and others. Expedia is also supporting the campaign with a video buy online and on mobile devices.

In the TV ad, Expedia asks people walking in a park the question, “If you had a chance to go anywhere in the world but you have to leave today, would you go?” After several negative responses, one person agrees, books his flight to China through the Expedia app and immediately leaves on his trip.

The voiceover at the end explains that Expedia is giving away a trip a day and encourages viewers to download the Expedia app for a chance to win.

To enter the sweepstakes, new users must download the current version of the app from, sign in and create a new account during the entry period. After doing so, users will automatically be entered into the drawing for that day.

Current Expedia app users can also enter by downloading the latest version of the app from the promotion site and log in to their account during the entry period.

Second-screen engagement
The TV ad is also Shazamable, enabling users to engage with ad via the Shazam app on their smartphone.

“We are testing Shazam as a way to further engage users,” Mr. Walia said. “Once a viewer ‘Shazams’ the commercial, he/she is rewarded with a full-length three-minute long version of our commercial, where the viewer gets to see the full journey of the trip to China that was briefly described in the 30-second TV commercial.

“Viewers can also download the app once they Shazam the commercial,” he said.

The latest version of the Expedia app was introduced in late August and features faster airport searching as well as the ability for Elite Plus members to find VIP hotels in search results and receive priority phone assistance.

Additionally, the app has added more countries, with users in Brazil, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Korea and Mexico now able to book flights.

“At Expedia, we use many different channels to drive app downloads,” Mr. Walia said.

“TV makes sense for Expedia because it maximizes reach with an engaging message, leading to increased downloads,” he said. “While our direct response efforts play a role in generating downloads via hyper-targeted marketing, our offline plays a role in generating awareness via a broad-based marketing program.

“Both should work in harmony. If you see the ad on TV and then are served up a direct response message online or on a mobile device, you are more likely to download the app.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York