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 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.
To continue the Obvious Choice message into 2016, we needed memorable and engaging content that raised awareness across the country. So, Captain Obvious laced up his running shoes and joined the 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 and a library of reaction GIFs for moments that only a GIF can truly capture your feelings.
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 creating Captain Obvious reaction GIFs to be shared during cultural events, such as Presidential debates and GIF-worthy moments.
We launched the library of Captain Obvious GIFs via Twitter during a Presidential debate and watched Captain Obvious respond real-time to the candidates. The library of GIFs lived on the campaign website where fans could easily download and share content.
The campaign garnered over 432.7 million earned media impressions. The GIF content created for social received over 128 million collective views online. We provided blogs and fans across the country with a solve for their GIF-reaction conundrums and everyday situations. The Captain Obvious GIFs allowed Hotels.com to participate in relevant cultural conversations in an organic and memorable way. The GIFs were featured on blogs like Huffington Post and the Travel Pulse. These great results could not have been possible without Twitter as a valued, tried and true partner to distribute our Captain Obvious content to our loyal Twitter fans, but most importantly using paid tool to increase reach and engagement – helping grow our follower base to over 450,000.
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