The average consumer loves stuff. And during the pandemic, many of us were buying an endless number of things to make up for lost moments. Companies love to encourage these consumers to buy as much stuff as possible — primarily using commercial advertising.
But there are many ways to find fulfillment in life other than from just filling it with things. With the world returning to a new normal, it was time to get people to fill their lives with experiences over things. And what better way to reach these consumers than with our own ad during arguably the biggest annual platform for commercials — the 2022 Super Bowl broadcast.
We began our campaign with our own Super Bowl film, creating sets referencing past Super Bowl ads famous for selling stuff. We also recruited wise man Ewan McGregor (Obi Wan Kenobi) to deliver a bold message: Experiences are more important than things.
Our goal was to bring the big screen to the small screen. To transform this concept into an integrated campaign, we created customized travel experiences based on the content displayed in other Super Bowl ads airing that night. As the ads aired in real-time on TV screens, we tweeted a real travel experience taking reference from the ad and hosted a contest for our social audience to win these customized trips.
To support the theme of “experiences over stuff,” we encouraged Super Bowl viewers to #TravelTheAds — instead of purchasing what the ads were selling.
In the lead up to the Super Bowl, we created a sense of excitement by using Twitter’s Brand Notification and Opt-In Notification products to provide consumers with an easy way to be reminded to join the sporting event of the year.
We then took on the ads that were selling stuff and turned them into real travel experiences you can win, making other ads at the Super Bowl ‘Expedia ads.’ Once the ads began to air, our intrepid social (and legal) teams were able to execute real-time tweeting with beautiful pre-developed post cards to help visually entice the audience with the chance to win upcoming travel experiences. For example, a BMW commercial featuring the Greek god Zeus driving one of the cars became a giveaway for a trip to Greece, the birthplace of Greek myths.
It was simple to enter — all social users had to do was to Quote RT with the hashtag #TravelTheAds. We gave out prizes in Expedia points, helping to drive awareness and sign-ups for membership (to receive Expedia points, you must be an Expedia Member). 20 trips were gifted, totaling $120,000 in value.
While watching the game, the commercials and executing real-time publishing, our Social team also monitored the conversation to engage with the audience and other brands throughout the entirety of the game, to deepen our overall presence on social during the game. Highlights included confirmation from Cheeto’s Chester Cheetah that snack-stealing sloths do exist in Costa Rica, and planning a road trip with Barbie.
America listened, pushing Expedia into the top 20% most-talked-about ads during the game.
In a packed category, we elevated the message beyond price, and it worked. While people traveled around the world, we traveled to the top of the charts:
People and brands jumped into the conversations, earning us 180× more reach than any other travel brand.
We also won ‘The Most Creative Play’ during Twitter’s annual ‘Brand Bowl,’ identifying us as the brand that best used Twitter to creatively breakthrough, beyond promoted Tweets and videos. We were praised as ‘on offense all night, lighting up the Big Game conversation on Twitter in a way only they could.’
It all worked together to show people that when you travel with Expedia, you save big on things that matter most.