Finding and booking a place to stay is the worst part of the travel experience. With an online travel category plagued by parity and the constant fear of getting it wrong, consumers find themselves spending hours searching. Frustration and the feeling of surrender once they finally book is rife. To provide some clarity and prove that Hotels.com is different, in 2014 we launched The Obvious Choice Campaign and enlisted a little help from our biggest fan, Captain Obvious.
We made Captain Obvious, once just a phrase in popular culture, a walking, talking advocate for the brand. Pointing out all the things that make Hotels.com The Obvious Choice for consumers, in a way only he can. He proved the ideal vehicle by which to manifest the brand's cultural relevance.
To continue the Obvious Choice message into 2016, we needed memorable and engaging content that raised awareness all across the country. So Captain Obvious is lacing up his running shoes and joining the presidential race.
Captain Obvious heard there was a race for President and decided to run the best way he knows how, by actually running. When you're literally running across the country you need to stay in a lot of different hotels, and you need a simple way to book them. That's why Hotels.com is sponsoring Captain Obvious' presidential race.
Like any presidential candidate, Captain Obvious needed a website where fans could follow his run, share their support, engage with content, and buy campaign swag. To document his run and share his knowledge of the great USA, we created a video for each state that lived on his campaign website.
Leverage the national relevance of the 2016 Presidential race to create breakthrough and memorable content that further supports the Hotels.com simplicity message. Garner further engagement by providing locally relevant content to people in every state.
We created short videos for every state in America, and Washington D.C., featuring Captain Obvious commenting on specific facts, stereotypes, and/or history about that state.
The state videos were pushed live one week before Super Tuesday, a key primary voting date for the U.S. Presidential Election. The videos live on CaptainObviousRunsForPresident.com, where users can follow Captain Obvious' run through an interactive map. To correlate with the actual 2016 Presidential Election events, specific state videos were posted to Captain Obvious' Twitter handle when that state held a debate, primary, or caucus. Additionally, we used Facebook to target all different markets from Alaska to Wyoming with a specific message for their state. No state was left behind.
Since the introduction of Captain Obvious Unaided Brand Awareness has increased, as well as the linkage between Captain Obvious Awareness and the Brand (BrainJuicer). The most recent campaign, Running for President, ignited a 900% increase in social mentions of Captain Obvious, many of these from people pledging their vote to him. As well as over 128 million views of his GIF content. Captain Obvious' Presidential run drove over 432.7 million earned media impressions, including national and local press. The microsite has received over 433,000 visits and there have been over 50,000 views of the video content online.
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