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3 Travel Brands that Nailed their Instagram Ad Campaigns

The travel industry is one of the indispensable pillars of almost all countries in the world and it spends a ton on marketing, especially in digital.

As per 2019 statistics, the US industry's digital ad spend was a massive US$10.86 billion. But with the pandemic keeping people confined at home, early 2020 saw the travel industry's digital ad spend take a tremendous fall by 62%.

Now that travel restrictions are easing up, we can expect to start seeing the number rise. This momentary downtime provides travel marketers the opportunity to restrategise and formulate the right ad campaigns for their new marketing strategies.

Here are 3 Instagram Ads by travel brands to spur you on

1) Norwegian Air

Run Time:

January-February 2020

Target Region and Audience:

France, Spain and the UK


The ad campaign, based on the innovative approach of using sound for engaging the audience, turned out to be fruitful for Norwegian Air.

The ad campaign helped the brand reach out to the maximum people in Spain (1.6 million people) and the UK (2.8 million people).


The paramount objective of the brand was to generate user awareness and build its brand for the future. This Instagram ad campaign served as a milestone of success for them.


The brand followed an out of the box approach to engage with its potential audience. They created highly interactive video ads featuring different sounds from the busy city of New York.

There were a total of four visually attractive scenes in the video ads shot in the city with rich audio. These ads were meant for mobile viewing only as they were shot in vertical format. Their ad campaign was known as the “Sounds of a City.”

Buyer’s Journey Targeted:

The initial phase of the brand was to create highly interactive ads to engage the users. They did this in a great way. The brand included a number of on-screen captions related to the sounds like “Gotta Go”, “New Yorkers Yelling” and others to keep people engaged.

The key motive was to make people aware of their brand, and for that, they needed them to watch the entire ad. In the end, they showed people saying “Swipe Up” to help users learn more about Norwegian Air.

The Result:

The campaign backed by the ingenious approach bagged brilliant results for them like:

  • 79% boost in brand awareness in Spain

  • 95% lift in brand awareness in the UK

  • The ad reached 1.6 million people in Spain and 2.8 million in the UK

  • 58k people in UK and Spain indicated that they would fly Norwegian to New York in the future

Products Used:

Instagram Stories

2) Sunweb

Run Time:

November 2018 - February 2019

Target Region and Audience:



The four months-long ad campaign by Sunweb witnessed surprising results in the end. It helped the brand drive incremental sales along with user awareness. The travel brand saw a 6 point lift in initiated checkout conversions.


The primary objective of the brand was to foster sales of their travel package. Moreover, they also wanted to test if the Instagram video ads would do better for them with respect to Facebook ads.

Approach and Buyer’s Journey:

Well, the whole point of the ad campaign undertaken by Sunweb was to test the effectiveness of ads on Instagram. For this, they partnered with their Facebook Marketing partner Smartly to create video ads.

The brand formulated ads that triggered the user’s mind into buying the travel package at a lower rate early in the season. They opened the ads with an airplane graphic that displayed the pricing of the package.

Moreover, they also featured eye-pleasing images of holiday destinations to engage the users. All of this was just to make the users consider the holiday package.

And to help them take the final step to make the booking, Sunweb included the “Swipe Up” option at the end of the advertisement. This was a direct CTA to the respective page. The ads were created using two changes based on the templated.

Also, the ads were made 4:5 aspect ratio for video and 9:16 for Instagram stories.


The collective effort of both the networks garnered the following results for the brand:

  • 6-point lift in bookings

  • 8-point higher lift in add to cart conversions

  • 27% lower cost per acquisition

Products Used:

Instagram videos, Instagram Stories

3) Aegean

Run Time:


Target Region and Audience:

Greece, people of ages 18-65 years


The state of the art ad campaign delivered more than anticipated results to the airline brand. The user-centric ads created by Aegean fostered a 64% boost in return on ad spend along with decent uplift in outreach.


The primary motive of their ad campaign was to check if the automatic placement of ads in Instagram feeds could help reduce the overall acquisition cost.


Aegean roped in Facebook Marketing Partner Adphorus to test running ads on multiple placements. And when they witnessed huge uplift in return on ad spend, they tried automatic placements on Instagram using flight ads.

With the concept of flight ads, brands can easily target ads to those who searched for a trip or hotel but didn’t make any reservation. Aegean leveraged this concept to increase the chances of customers making their bookings. The brand achieved this by showing them advertisements relevant to their price and route. These were those customers that searched for flights on their website in the last two weeks.

The ads were targeted to people of ages 18-65 years in Greece.

Targeting Buyer’s Journey:

The process of user migration from the viewer to a customer was designed very carefully by the brand. Their unique approach included targeting ads to those who are interested in making the booking.

Moreover, it also included a “Book Now” CTA at the bottom of the ad. To make the user click on that, the ads were specifically made while keeping the factor of relevant routes and prices in mind.


The innovative strategy and tools used by Aegean entirely paid off in the end. The campaign brought them the following results with Instagram placements:

  • 44% decline in cost per acquisition

  • 64% boost in return on ad spend

  • 20% increase in overall reach

Products Used:

Instagram feed, Flight ads, Video ads

Want to create your own Ad Campaign?

It may seem like a walk in the park but please know that it is not. There are many things that matter in the process of designing your ad campaign. First off, you need to be clear about your goal and audience.

Moreover, it is essential to collaborate with the right people for creatives. To extend your outreach and make your ad campaign look good, you must harness the right tools of the digital networks.

Lastly, learn from the mistakes of your competitors. Do a thorough study of the methods employed by your competitors and their results. Keep all these attributes in mind while creating your own ad campaign.

Now go on, 'git!

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