As it seeks to reverse a sales slide brought on by the pandemic, Expedia is taking a literal approach to the term “helping hand.” The online travel agency teamed up with singer Joe Jonas on a collaboration that includes the distribution of 3D-printed replicas of Jonas’ hand.
Unlike more-notable hands like Thing from Addams Family, the Expedia versions are stationary and do not actually help with tasks like planning trips or feather-dusting the house.
The limited-edition hands, which are numbered and painted blue, will be given to the first 250 customers who ask for them.
Expedia says the idea for the odd swag arose from its Travel Companions Report, a study that found that 60% of Americans say they need a “helping hand” when booking travel now compared with before COVID-19. Jonas is involved because he travels a lot.
The push is part of Expedia’s new brand overhaul, a makeover that includes an expensive ad campaign starring Rashida Jones, as it seeks to reverse the losses from the pandemic.
Expedia Group, which owns its namesake Expedia brand as well as Orbitz and HomeAway, reported a 67% decline in revenue to $920 million in the fourth quarter, along with a loss of $2.7 billion. While many consumers are thinking about travel and beginning to book, such planning has yet to send travel brands back into the black. We’ll see what help the new hands provide.