Disney, Hilton, Southwest Airlines target travel planners on Pinterest

Dive Brief:

  • Disney, Hilton, Southwest Airlines, Accor and California’s tourism board developed branded content and campaigns for Pinterest as the platform saw elevated interest in travel during the summer. Pinterest searches for “RV camping tips” jumped nearly 1,300% last June from a year earlier as more Americans sought travel ideas that would permit social distancing, according to a company announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
  • Pinterest searches for “road trip routes” surged almost 250%, faster than the 89% jump for “cross country road trip,” 60% lift for “national parks” and 41% gain for “lake weekend.” While travel-related research focused on road trips, Pinterest also saw a 260% jump in searches for “vacation spots” and a more than 170% increase in searches for “airplane essentials.”
  • Brands have tended to promote trips that are mindful of health and safety recommendations during the pandemic rather than touting the latest travel deals. However, travel-related brands also are sharing content about “dream vacations” to help Pinterest users plan for a return to normal, according to Pinterest.

Dive Insight:

Travel-related brands are stepping up their marketing efforts as the industry seeks to recover from a steep drop in activity as pandemic lockdowns are gradually lifted, allowing consumers greater freedom to venture farther from home, according to Pinterest. The platform’s announcement cites several examples of brands that have developed more travel-related content and campaigns to connect with people who use its digital pin boards for a range of activities, including travel planning. Travel marketers can adopt these strategies in campaigns that entice consumers while reassuring them of safety measures.

Disney, which has gradually reopened amusement parks in areas that have eased restrictions, sought to engage Pinterest users by giving them a chance to share its recipes to make at home. It also provided virtual versions of park attractions to entertain folks as they spend more time in their homes. Hotel chain Hilton focused on travel ideas for people seeking “staycations” or other getaways closer to home, while French hospitality company Accor shared its safety plans for its Ibis Hotels to reassure travelers of its safety measures.

With more people seeking outdoorsy trips to national parks, Southwest Airlines developed fresh creative to encourage travelers plan a trip. Visit California, the state’s tourism promotion board, used Pinterest Travel Personas to ensure its content appealed to people seeking different kinds of travel experiences. The company last year introduced the travel personas to help marketers identify five main consumer groups, such as “the Group Vacationer” who values time with family and friends and “the Culture Chaser” who wants to learn about local culture and history.

The recent lift in travel-related searches on Pinterest coincides with other data indicating that air travel is slowly rebounding, though passenger volumes are still below last year’s levels. More than 860,000 people went through U.S. airport security checks on Aug. 16, marking a 10-fold increase from early April as lockdowns went into effect. While the number was a post-pandemic high, it was a third of prior-year levels. As Pinterest notes, marketers can reach people as they plan trips and seek more assurances that air travel can be safe.

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