5 Things You Need To Know About Travel Advertising In APAC

The travel industry in APAC is producing content that is both highly viewed and highly shared.

In the past 12 months, content produced by travel and tourism brands across APAC has accumulated almost 1bn views – an increase of 86% from the previous year – while the number of online shares has also increased by 83%.

In order to better understand these trends, we analysed the top 5,000 branded travel videos from the past two years across ASEAN, North Asia and Australasia.

We saw tourist boards and airlines dominating the top spots for both views and shares, with Tourism Australia the most shared travel brand both this year (46% of all shares) and last year (64% of all shares).

So what’s the magic formula? Well, here’s a handy guide to getting it right:

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1. Support great content with paid media

Make sure your awesome content reaches its full potential with viewers. Tourism Australia and Tourism Thailand were both highly shared and highly viewed in 2016/17 – the tourist boards garnered 46% and 7% of all shares respectively and 31% and 5% of all views respectively – indicating a robust paid media campaign. In contrast, Agoda and Hong Kong Tourism were both highly shared with 4% and 3% of total shares but didn’t make it into the most viewed chart at all. So the brands’ great ads weren’t as effective as they could have been.

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2. Show off your country

Videos featuring local celebrities, animals, events and attractions are extremely popular – often evoking intense emotions among their audiences. Tourism Australia shamelessly promotes its adorable animals, and they go down a treat, with 6 animal videos making it into the top 10 most shared videos for 2016/17. Meanwhile, Air New Zealand’s “Men In Black” video, part of its “Crazy About Rugby” campaign and featuring the Kiwis’ all-conquering rugby team the All Blacks, was one of the most shared airline videos of 2015/16.

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3. Don’t forget about local audiences

Successful travel videos often elicit intense pride among local audiences who share content to show off their country. SIA understands how proud Singaporeans are of their national carrier, and uses this emotion to great effect in its advertising. Its campaign “#NoDetailTooSmall” – highlighting the incredible design of SIA aircraft – evoked high levels of amazement (29% vs. SG norm of 5%) and pride (18% vs. SG norm of 4%) among its audience – and earned SIA the number 5 spot in the 2015/16 most shared ads list (300,000 shares).

Similarly, Thailand Tourism bagged two of the top 10 most shared spots in 2016/17 with “กาลครั้งหนึ่ง เมื่ออารมณ์พาไป” and “จะผิดมั้ย? ถ้าวันนี้ เราอยากชวนคุณไปเที่ยวเมืองไทย”. The videos had very high levels of engagement from Thai audiences, who felt pride at the beauty of their own country and a desire to visit other parts of their nation.

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4. Combine emotional responses with cognitive responses

It’s not just about raw emotion. By combining intense emotions with cognitive responses – such as surprising and informing viewers about new features or routes – you can drive greater brand awareness and advocacy.

For example, Indian online travel agent Goibibo’s 2016 cheerful ad “GoibiboGoConnect” informed viewers about the features of its new app – and the approach proved to be very popular. Altogether it amassed 250,000 shares, making it into the top 10 most shared travel ads of 2016/17.

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5. Support a cause

Supporting a local cause can help evoke warmth and elicit sharing for social good. For example, Jet Airways released its campaign, “FlightOfFantasy”, to celebrate Children’s Day. The video shows the airline making the dreams of 100 underprivileged kids come true as they take them on their first-ever flight. The ad was widely popular, attracting 85,000 shares, making it one of the 10 most shared airline ads of 2016/17.

But remember – authenticity is key. Only support a cause if it makes sense for your brand, as 81% of APAC viewers lose trust in a brand if an ad feels fake (source: Unruly Future Video Survey).

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