Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Thursday, October 17, 2013

KLM - Dream Catcher

When it comes to embracing digital platforms and technology, KLM has been at the forefront of the airline industry (Think With Google had an interesting article/case study which can be found here).  A few months ago I wrote about the KLM 'Must See Map,'which used a custom Google maps implementation to allow travelers to create a personalised map for an upcoming trip while also allowing users to invite Facebook & Twitter friends to suggest places to visit and directly add their suggestions to the personalised map.  Now KLM has extended the idea further with the KLM 'Dream Catcher' site/service.  Dream Catcher 'collects and sorts travel information supplied by some of the most used search and review platforms worldwide - painting a comprehensive picture of your chosen destination that is both honest and inspiring.'   Users can then browse, save and export a map of things to do and places to see for an upcoming destination. Hopefully they'll extend the service even further by combining the functionality of the Must See map and allowing users to link their G+, FB or Twitter accounts as a way of pulling in and/or ranking suggestions from friends and people in their social circles, much in the way that Google+ already does with local reviews.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Interrail Mobile - Global Pass

A generation ago backpacking around Europe was a rite of passage for college-age youth with a little bit of money to spare.  While the center of gravity for the backpacking experience has moved to SE Asia, training it around Europe for a summer or for a few weeks at a time is still a popular travel experience.  In order to promote their European wide unlimited train ticket, Interrail and Havas have created a fantastic piece of utility for their customers.  Interrail have partnered with mobile operators around Europe to provide a SIM card that allows travelers to use data and make cheap calls regardless of what country they are in for the duration of their travels.  The aptly named Interrail Mobile is sold directly on the Interrail site and provides an invaluable service to their youth-oriented market; the ability to stay in touch and post updates to their social networks throughout their travels.

Giving their customers a cheap and easy way to stay connected to social media and document their journey not only eliminates a huge paint point for travelers, but also allows Interrail to leverage word of mouth among their customers in order to drive future bookings from their respective social networks.   Check out the overview video below or check out the more in-depth article/interview at Contagious Magazine.

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Monday, June 10, 2013


GeoGuessr is a geography game which takes you on a journey around the world and challenges your ability to recognize your surroundings.  It's a simple yet addictive
use of Google Maps & Streetview.  Here's how it works, you're dropped into a random location on Google Street View and you have to guess where in the world you are.  Pan, tilt, and zoom around your Streetview location to help you narrow down your location then plot where you think you are on the map.  You are awarded points based on how close your guess was to the actual location.

While this has nothing to do with advertising, you can imagine how hotels, airlines or other travel brands in particular could use this as a compelling way to show off various destinations that they serve as well as run a competition.  I wouldn't be surprised if we see this idea co-opted by a brand in the near future.  Check out a walk through video below or head on over to GeoGuessr to play.

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A Few Other Things I Like But Don't Have Time To Write Up

Coca-Cola Small World Machines
Another wonderful execution under the Coca-Cola 'Open Happiness' umbrella, this time bringing together people in Pakistan & India.  The number of activations around Coca-Cola vending machines around 'Open Happiness' is seemingly endless.

A Boy & His Atom - The World's Smallest Movie
This is incredible. IBM created the world's smallest stop motion film.  As they describe 'The ability to move single atoms — the smallest particles of any element in the universe — is crucial to IBM's research in the field of atomic memory. But even nanophysicists need to have a little fun. In that spirit, IBM researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules (two atoms stacked on top of each other), all in pursuit of making a movie so small it can be seen only when you magnify it 100 million times. A movie made with atoms.'

Getty Images - 85 Seconds
Last year, AlmapBBDO created a beautiful film from various stock photography to demonstrate the depth and breadth of the Getty Images library.  Now, AlmapBBDO has done the same thing to show off the depth of their video archive.  85 seconds tells the love story of a couple who meet as children, separate after college and reunite later in life.

Holland - The Original Cool
This amazing video was developed by the Mustache Agency for The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Amsterdam Marketing and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.  The Original Cool is part of a larger advertising campaign aimed at the North American travel market.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Escape Flight

Escape Flight is a new travel site/service that flips the traditional model of planning and booking travel online.  Rather than start with a destination in mind, Escape Flight asks the user what attributes they're looking for in a getaway.  As their site descibes, Escape flight is 'a free service that has been specifically designed for people in big cities who need a last-minute getawar, but can't afford to do all the ground work themselves.  We have created a one-stop, travel-agent-defying algorithm that considers; your personal interests, the weather, your preferred airport, flight times, potential destinations (...including how easy they are to reach), even if there is an event on you might like, and of course not forgetting the cost.'
This idea isn't necessarily new, in fact there was a great piece of Miami Ad School student work that was similar, but based strictly on the weather requirements of the traveler.  I believe that I've also seen this sort of functionality buried in the booking options of other airlines sites.  The point is that none of the major travel players are really thinking about how to meet the needs of the traveler in non-traditional ways.  Escape Flight have brought the idea of interest/attribute based travel booking to the forefront in a both delightful and useful way.  It's crazy to me that big travel brands or travel aggregators aren't leading the way in terms of providing this sort of functionality as it resolves an inherent tension in the current travel process as well as serving an unmet need for potential travelers.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bus Stop Ads - The Good, The Bad & The Excellent

I thought it'd be interesting to change gears a bit and showcase some interesting (both good and bad) work from the out of home world, namely bus stop/bus shelter advertising.

The Good - First up is a nice stunt from Qualcomm which effectively delivers on the tagline 'We make life better with mobile.'  Check it out below:

The Bad - Next up is a stunt from the Weather Channel to promote their mobile app which tells users the exact time when rain will start or stop.  Since the Weather Channel takes the guesswork out of weather forecasts, they wanted to see people get caught in the rain one last time.  To do so, they outfitted a bus stop with a rain machine.  Call me crazy, but I'd be pissed off if I'm sitting there waiting for my bus and a brand decides that they're going to make it rain on me.  I wouldn't exactly be rushing to download the app after that moment of unexpected precipitation.

The Excellent - Last up is from SAS in Norway.  To show off the array of new sunny destinations that the airline services, JCDecaux outfitted a bus stop with what looks like an airplane window.  Users who pull up the window shade are presented with videos from one of the sixteen new destinations.  It's a great way to grab the attention of people who, by definition, have some free time on their hands while waiting for a bus.  It's also a perfect execution considering the winter weather in Norway and other Northern European countries, coupled with the universal desire to get away to sunnier climes.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

KLM - Must See Map

For the past couple years, KLM has been setting the bar in terms of how an airline should behave in the digital space.  Recently there was an excellent article about their approach to digital on Think With Google (article is here).  Almost every campaign includes a service design element where they attempt to enhance the user experience either before, during or after the journey.  The latest from KLM is a tool called Must See Map, which uses a custom Google maps implementation to allow travelers to create a personalised map for an upcoming trip.  That functionality alone can be done with the standard Google Maps functionality.  However, Must See Map allows users to invite Facebook & Twitter friends to suggest places to visit and directly add their suggestions to your map.

It's a really nice execution driven by the insight that travelers most often look to friends for suggestions of places to go and things to check out when planning a trip.  Those suggestions typically come in the form of e-mail or social networks posts, so KLM is eliminating the pain point of having all those suggestions in e-mail or list form by enabling your friends to input them directly.

My favorite part of this whole experience is how KLM is bridging the digital and physical worlds.  Once your map is complete, KLM will send you a hard copy of the map within three weeks.

Check out the explanation video below.  Anyone know the agency behind this?

UPDATE: This was created by the good people at Code D'Azur.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Few Things I Like But Don't Have Time To Write UP - Microsoft, Call Of Duty, SPIES Travels

Microsoft Internet Explorer - Child Of The 90s
Check out the video for the new Internet Explorer that resonates nicely with the target audience (eg. people my age) by tapping into nostalgia for the 90s.  It's a nice way to encourage people to give Explorer another try.  As they say in the ad 'You grew up. So did we. Reconnect with the new Internet Explorer.'

Call Of Duty 2: The Replacer
I love this spot because it's so different from most videogame launch ads.  The Replacer, created by 72andsunny, is a nice take on the idea that there are always things getting in the way of playing a new videogame.  Sort of reminiscent (on a smaller scale) of the NAB Stand-Ins campaign from a new months back.

SPIES Travels
Here's a fun little experiment from Danish travel company SPIES travels and their agency, Robert/Boisen & like-minded.  To encourage travelers to book a vacation in warm climes, they went to some extremes to show much energy you get from a sun filled holiday.

Friday, October 5, 2012

2012 Election Season - 7 Eleven, Jetblue & Blippar

The 2012 presidential election is heating up in the States.  It's been interesting to see how brands are tapping into the interest around the US election.  Most are doing it poorly (I'll ignore those), but some are doing great work.  Three in particular stick out.

JetBlue - Live Free or Fly
I've heard people threaten to leave the US if their candidate doesn't win.  Apparently JetBlue has also heard this claim from both sides of the political spectrum.  They (and their agency, Mullen) have developed JetBlue Election Protection which will give a thousand sore losers the chance to get out of the country (at least temporarily) if their candidate loses.  Users are invited to go to and choose their political party (Democrat or Republican) as well as one of more than a dozen overseas destinations that JetBlue is offering up.  If your candidate loses, JetBlue may send you there.  The site gives you a sense of the current political leanings of the audience showing the polling so far among participants.  JetBlue is also doing their part, reminding people that the best part of Election Protection is to do their civic duty and vote.

7-Eleven - 7-Election
Convenience store giant 7-Eleven is back for the fourth edition of 7-election.  Customers can choose from partisan coffee cups (Romney cups are red, Obama cups are blue).  7-Eleven is then tallying sales for each to predict the outcome of the election.  This is the fourth election that 7-Eleven has done this and in each case it's successfully predicted the winner as well as coming within 1% of the actual outcome.  Unscientific? Yes.  Amazing?  Most definitely.

Check out the slate video about the initiative below and head over to the 7-Election site to see the current results.

Blippar - Blipp A $5 Bill To Donate To Obama
OK, this isn't technically a brand execution, but it's fascinating.  Blippar technology is probably the predominant app used by brands to execute mobile augmented reality experiences.  Blippar is taking a stance and coming out in support of Obama.  They've decided to throw their support and their technology behind Obama in an innovative way.  Fire up the Blippar app, point it at a 5 dollar bill and you can donate $5 directly to Obama's campaign.  The AR experience also has additional features such as the ability to create a picture of you high-fiving Obama, find your nearest campaign office to volunteer your time, listen to Obama speeches, etc.  I wonder if pointing Blippar at a $100 bill fires up a Romney experience?  Anyhow, check it out in action below:

Other Things I Like (But Don't Have Time To Write Up)

Budweiser - Bud Clock
Great use of QR codes to turn Happy Hour into an interactive drinking game and extend Happy Hour through buying more Bud.

via: Banner Blog

Kit Kat - We Will Find You
Kit Kat has created a modern day version of Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket with a dash of dystopian Phillip K. Dick novel.  They've hidden GPS transmitters in four packs of Kit Kats on sale in the UK.  Opening the pack activates the GPS and Kit-Kat promises 'We Will Find You' within 24 hours and give the lucky recipient £10,000.  Very cool from a tech perspective, but the messaging is kind of creepy.

Gatwick Express - Tracks
To elevate the experience of the 30-minute train journey from Victoria to Gatwick airport (and of course boost online sales), VCCP has commissioned various artists to create a custom half-hour soundtrack that's synced to what riders see on the journey.  Customers who buy their Gatwick Express tickets online can download the tracks directly from the Gatwick Express website.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

BONUS: The Best April Fool's Day Joke (excluding Google)

Google always goes big for April Fool's Day & this year was no exception.  The 8-bit Google Maps, the Youtube Collection, & Google Racing were all genius, but I also loved this April Fool's Day Joke from WestJet.

Introducing Kargo Kids.  So good:

'...with plenty of toys and a state of the art feed trough, your children will be able to run, play, scream and eat all they want, while you enjoy your flight in peace and quiet.'