As more consumers return to travel and the industry sees a long-awaited rebound, travel brands are mapping out their strategy to be top of mind for booking. To that end, Travelocity tapped Doner as its new agency-of-record, following a review that began in January.
“We are a very data-driven company, and we were really looking for a partner that could be very strategic and data-driven in their strategy,” says Laura Molnar, head of brand marketing at Expedia Group-owned Travelocity, based in Dallas. “They brought that in addition to creativity, not only unique creative but also thinking about the creative at each point in the funnel and how do you tell that message based on where that person is in the journey.”
Such a strategy is necessary amid the cluttered travel landscape as all brands clamor for a piece of the pie. In addition to other online travel agencies, Travelocity, a 25-year-old brand, is also competing with airlines and hotels, which have long been encouraging direct booking from consumers; Airbnb and Google. A host of travel brands, including Expedia, are taking a fresh look at their marketing with new creative and agency relationships. Travelocity most recently worked with Proof, which did not participate in the review.
“Everybody’s been on the sidelines for over a year,” says David DeMuth, CEO of Detroit-based Doner, which has worked with travel brands such as Hotels.com and Expedia in the past.
“Everybody is going to be coming hard at the consumer and that’s why you need a smart strategy and a differentiating creative message.”
That creative message will be seen by consumers in July, when new work rolls out. DeMuth declined to say if the campaign will include Travelocity’s well-known Roaming Gnome. Travelocity will return to broadcast TV and push messaging on social channels and digital video.