What Indian brands can learn from Expedia UK’s ‘Travel Yourself Interesting’ Twitter campaign #TYI

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Expedia UK recently launched a new brand campaign, Travel Yourself Interesting (‘did you know that Bulgarians shake their heads to say yes, and then nod to say no?’). While some may find the phrasing awkward, it sure gets attention and is memorable. More importantly it breaks the clutter of category advertising which has always focused on the destination. The ‘travel yourself interesting’ makes it about what you get out of the travel. The TV ads focused on how people become interesting because of their travel and thereby taking away the spotlight from you, the print ads provide handy trivia: ‘Did you know you can buy dog toupees from vending machines in Tokyo?’.

On Twitter, they recently launched an interesting campaign which was made best use of the medium – as classic advertising has always done. The idea is based on a clear understanding of how regular folks use Twitter: to share the most boring, inane goings-on in their lives at that moment. So the idea is to urge people to continue tweeting the way do but use the hashtag #TYI for such dull tweets. Expedia will then pick such tweets and make them ‘interesting’ by placing them in context at a global destination, through a video. The videos are quirky and are likely to get a few laughs. British Comedian Matt Lucas tweeted “Ugh! This water’s all wet!” and Expedia converted it into a video by ‘traveling’ his tweet  to South Africa.

Olympic gymnast Louis Smith tweeted “My phone’s got no battery aaaahhh”; the tweet was ‘sent’ to the Middle East.

Agency: Ogilvy

More videos from the campaign here.

Yes, there is a prize involved but the Twitter campaign didn’t scream CONTEST! and urge people to follow or retweet as many times as they can to participate. Not to mention a hackneyed, long hashtag which has ‘unimaginative’ written all over it. The Expedia effort on Twitter was rooted to the brand proposition, clearly understood how Twitter is used and above all: gave something in return for engaging with the brand. Are Indian brands and digital agencies listening?

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