Condé Nast Traveler, the upscale travel magazine and digital platform from the publisher of The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, is launching a new brand campaign today as it moves to leverage the momentum of the rebounding travel industry.
“The World Made Local,” as the campaign is called, is a print/digital initiative that’s meant to capitalize on rising consumer comfort levels with leisure travel (more on that in a moment) while positioning CNT’s writers and editors as the ultimate travel influencers.
The launch ad in the campaign (detail above; scroll down for the full view) shows Divia Thani, global editorial director of Condé Nast Traveler—she’s identified by that title as well as “Lifelong Mumbai local”—along with a large-type quote from her: “Catch your breath in busy Mumbai by stopping for bun maska at one of the 100-year-old Irani cafés. Though far from chic, they’re dripping with stories and nostalgia.” The ad closes with the CNT logo and “The World Made Local” tagline.
The ad starring Thani is one of “around a dozen creative iterations that we are working on featuring our global editorial talent,” Beth Lusko, Condé Nast global head of sales, travel and home, tells Ad Age. “We’ll be leveraging Condé Nast’s owned-and-operated brand channels,” she notes, “and will also be placing the campaign with travel trade-media outlets.”
Though Condé Nast declined to share revenue figures, Lusko says that so far in 2021, “CNT is exceeding all of its goals” and that the sales team has broken 20 new accounts since January, including private jet charter company Wheels Up and luggage retailer Away.
Below, thoughts on the campaign from Divia Thani.
(This interview has been lightly edited for space and flow.)
What was the genesis of “The World Made Local”?
Before we travel, we imagine places. When we return, we remember people. At CNT, we start with people—our people, our colleagues and teams creating CNT editions across the globe—from the U.S., UK, Europe, the Middle East, India and China. Passionate people who live to travel, who have their fingers on the pulse of the most exciting things happening in their parts of the world.
So you’re a global brand that thinks local.
It’s always that local connection that makes for an authentic experience and ensures your trip is unforgettable. With “The World Made Local,” our editors and their hyper-local networks are sharing their secrets and guiding you through this new era of travel.
How is the CNT readership feeling about leisure travel in 2021? I know you’ve got some internal research to share.
While our audience wasn’t able to travel the way they used to in the past year, they spent a significant amount of time thinking about what comes next. In a survey of Condé Nast Traveler readers conducted in early 2021, 86% of respondents mentioned they were researching and booking future travel. And, thanks to the vaccine, consumers can put thought into action.
What sort of differential are you seeing between enthusiasm for domestic vs. international trips?
We’ve seen domestic travel as a key driving force for travelers planning their first trips back out in the world, with nearly 9 in 10—87%—considering a domestic flight for their next personal/leisure trip. As we begin to fully return to travel, all eyes are on international destinations ... with 93% of respondents saying they are willing to travel internationally once restrictions have been fully lifted. With the right precautions in place, 89% would consider a flight abroad for their next trip.
Was “The World Made Local” executed entirely in-house?
Yes, this was executed entirely with an internal team. It was a collaborative effort between Condé Nast Traveler’s editorial team, brand marketing team and [Condé Nast creative agency] CNX.
So it’s an in-house effort that puts the spotlight on the in-house experts.
Yes, so no matter where you’re going, you’ll feel as if you have a personal guide showing you the way. It’s true to the Condé Nast Traveler DNA and this moment in time, when people all over the world feel so connected, and everyone is just aching to travel again. It makes perfect sense.