A commercial shows an old man standing in front of a Cambodian temple, seemingly fulfilling a wish he's had his whole life. He's not just a tourist, he's on an adventure.
This 30-second commercial for Expedia highlights the online brand not as just a website that books vacations, but as a company that delivers dreams.
"In the old days, we would just show you an ad about people traveling to a destination," says Vic Walia, VP of global brand marketing at Bellevue, Washington-based Expedia. "The insight when it comes to creating an ad now is, 'Let's find the right activity and build the ad around that.' "
When they started, online booking services like Expedia and Priceline were the disrupters. Now they are the ones being disrupted by the digital duopoly of Facebook and Google, as well as Airbnb, which days ago began its own aggressive ad campaign against online agencies—a direct invitation to hotels to partner with Airbnb. Add to that renewed competition from hotel chains using data garnered from rewards programs to offer tailored travel experiences to customers, and online bookers are feeling the squeeze and seeing investor pullback.
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