Expedia and Team One nurture travel dreams in new campaign

Laundry piles become mountains to hike as the travel site aims to nudge people toward travel readiness.

Expedia’s new ad campaign by Team One aims to coax people out of their lockdown slumbers by at least venturing to search their vacation dreams.

The spot features a real-life couple at home and reimagines the humdrum-ery of domestic life as a vacation adventure. The couple scale mountains of laundry, which are imagined to be hiking trails, dive into a pool of blue bed sheets and turn sitting on the couch into a room-service breakfast. 

“[Consumers] are starting to get curious about travel,” said Chandreyi Davis, Expedia’s VP, brand marketing. “People are starting to dream again, and we really want to be part of that dreaming process and be there for when they are ready to start traveling again.”

Expedia’s search data reveals that while consumers would search up those faraway dream vacations before COVID-19, today they are browsing a little closer to home, such as overnight excursions to travel to by car, noted Davis. The unifying sentiment for Expedia is to nurture that inspiration to travel.   

“Our research shows that people are at very different stages in their travel readiness right now, depending on where they live, their personal situation and of course their methods of traveling,”  noted Julie Michael, CEO of Team One. “We knew this campaign needed to capture people’s hearts wherever they were on their own personal travel continuum.” 

The Stop Motion. Start Traveling campaign, as the name suggests, uses stop motion photography to portray the transitions from realism to fantasy. The ad, which is running in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., opens with a furnished living room that is changed to an open canvas. 

“Lately, life has been full of many stops and starts, so the use of stop motion echoes that feeling,” said Fabio Costa, ECD at Team One. “It’s also a technique that takes time and has a handmade quality, which speaks to all of the at-home crafts many of us have been trying our hands at.”

Team One has worked with Expedia since 2018 on large brand campaigns and specific promotional work. The year 2020 has been unlike no other, with steep losses in U.S. tourism revenues that could reach $505 billion, according to a U.S. Travel Association report.  

Michael noted that while, due to COVID-19, Expedia held off on major marketing investments in the spring, traditionally the time that summer vacations are planned, site traffic is indicating that people are ready to dream again. Fall bookings present another opportunity, as the holidays are also a big season for the industry. 

Expedia’s next step on its travel advertising journey will be to start working with travel partners. “We are constantly talking to our regional travel partners, some regional partners are in different places or recovery, about how we partner in communications,” Davis said.

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