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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Expedia Group Launches Game-Changing New Rewards Program – One Key™

Entered in Brand Awareness Campaign, Integrated Campaign, Launch Campaign


In July 2023, Expedia Group launched a game-changing new loyalty program called One Key, which unified the company’s three flagship brands of Expedia, and Vrbo. The highly anticipated rewards program had been nearly two years in the making and rewards consumers for any way they travel.

Though Expedia, and Vrbo have each established themselves as stand-alone travel brands, many consumers do not know they belong to the same family. The launch of One Key was a critical milestone for the company that would connect the brands in the minds of consumers and encourage them to book trips across all three travel apps. 

For the launch of One Key, the communications team was tasked with raising mass awareness of the new program and educating consumers and press about its benefits. In addition to announcing the news, the team set out to maximize consumer touchpoints and create a buzzworthy launch moment to mark the occasion and celebrate the launch.


Strategy and Execution

The team devised a fully integrated, multi-channel strategy for launch week beginning July 17. 

Earned Media Blitz 

To kick off the campaign, the team pitched business, consumer, broadcast, travel, and loyalty media under embargo and hosted pre-briefings. USA Today broke the news with an exclusive story. Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern made his network debut on “CBS Mornings,” followed by appearances and round tables with CNBC “Squawk Box,” “Good Morning America,” The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Fast Company, WIRED, Reuters, and TIME Magazine. 

Brian Kelly, founder of The Points Guy, acted as a third-party spokesperson for a satellite media tour resulting in 46 segments about One Key.   

Nasdaq Opening, Times Square, and Empire State Building 

To mark the milestone, Expedia Group participated in the Nasdaq Opening Bellringing Ceremony while our media team took over Times Square with hour-long placements from the One Key creative campaign.  

The social team shared the news on LinkedIn, while EG’s CEO, Chief Technology Officer, President of Brands, and President of Business Services celebrated the achievement with LinkedIn posts curated to their respective expertise.  

The Social team secured an organic Instagram post from @empirestatebldg (810K) featuring Grammy-award-winning artist Anderson .Paak and Expedia Brands President Jon Gieselman “lighting up” the Empire State Building in Expedia, and Vrbo’s brand colors.  

Social Activation 

The team launched with a bang by:  

Launch Celebration    

Four hundred celebrities, influencers, and press attended the invite-only event at the Top of The Standard featuring a performance from DJ Pee .Wee (Anderson .Paak). To extend the event’s reach to social, the team executed 20+ interviews featuring guests like Olympian Shaun White (2.1M), Actress & BÉIS founder Shay Mitchell (36.6M), and Antoni Porowski from “Queer Eye” (4.2M). Curated questions provided each brand with snackable Instagram Stories, with categories including Travel Firsts (i.e., first time on plane), This or That (i.e., boutique hotel or mountainside Vrbo) and more. Plus, guests who signed up for One Key received Platinum status. 


Protect Launch Strategy: As a result of diligent social listening and delicately nurtured media relationships, chatter during the pre-launch phase was minimal; no stories were published by top-tier loyalty press prematurely.





Video for Expedia Group Launches Game-Changing New Rewards Program – One Key™

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Expedia Group


Entry Credits