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  • Writer's pictureJefrey Gomez

3 Travel Brands that Reached Their Marketing Goals with TikTok

Travel and tourism contributed almost $2.9 trillion to the global GDP in 2019. Despite the toll that COVID-19 had on both global and domestic travel industries, this is one sector that is expected to bounce back as soon as things return to normalcy.

In fact, China, which accounts for the highest percentage of travel shoppers across the world, has already seen an uptick in its domestic travel.

Naturally, travel brands need to brace themselves for the boost that the industry would see once global tourism picks up again. However, to make the most of this resurgence, brands would have to come up with marketing ideas that can make their potential customers take notice.

To do so, travel brands can leverage online channels and social media platforms where people not only connect with each other but also look for travel ideas. So, here are three travel brands that made the most of TikTok for enhanced exposure.

1. Tourism New Zealand

After international travel came to a halt following the restrictions owing to COVID-19, Tourism New Zealand wanted to stay at the top of the mind of their Australian neighbours so that they visit once the borders reopen.

Their Objectives

Tourism New Zealand sought to boost their brand awareness and drive customer’s familiarity with the company.

Approach & Solution

Tourism New Zealand collaborated with Mindshare and TBWA/Sydney, which developed PLAY NZ, an online gameplay walkthrough of the country to give potential travellers a glimpse of New Zealand in a video game format.

They then turned to TikTok to attract gaming fans to come and play and it offers a great potential for engagement.

Tourism New Zealand joined hands with a popular local Creator, William Waiirua (@w_cribb), for the creation of a tongue-in-cheek In-Feed Ad that mimicked the style of a character selection screen in a video game. This ad featured an original soundtrack by Otis Studios.

They also used text overlays, infused by the offbeat humour of the TikTok community, which made the video fit seamlessly among organic content in the For You Feed. On the other hand, Brand Premium placement made sure that the video would emerge first when the users opened the app.

The Result

The TikTok campaign was highly effective for Tourism New Zealand and drove a large number of users to their site. Not only did the ad garner a whopping 2.7 million impressions but also fetched an engagement rate of 3.73% and a view-through rate of 2.64%.

2. SunExpress

Turkish-German airline SunExpress wanted to launch a TikTok campaign that would help them drive brand familiarity among their potential customers.

Their Objectives

SunExpress sought to kick off an interesting TikTok campaign that would help them become the first choice when it came to choosing their travel partner.

Approach & Solution

SunExpress teamed up with Territory Media’s social advertising team, which led the campaign’s implementation and optimization for the execution of an In-Feed Auctions Ad that was primarily designed to spread brand awareness while reaching the brand’s target audience.

The video Ad was highly entertaining and engaging and highlighted the pleasures of air travel, thereby encompassing the spirit of flying and highlighting how flying with them can be your “ticket to happiness”.

The Result

The SunExpress Auction Ad was highly successful and reached over 33 million travel-thirsty people quickly. An impressive click-through rate for the In-Feed Ad meant that more than 120,000 users visited the SunExpress landing page.

3. Wisma Geylang Serai

Singapore’s first-ever cultural heritage integrated hub, Wisma Geylang Serai, wanted to expand its outreach to a younger audience while keeping itself firmly aligned with its family-oriented audience.

Their Objectives

Wisma sought to make inroads into a younger market and drive its brand familiarity among that demographic.

Approach & Solution

As TikTok has a tight-knit community of diverse users, which comprises family-friendly as well as individuals from younger generations, TikTok was the ideal platform for their campaign.

Wisma Geylang Sarai’s idea revolved around celebrating the Ramadan month by bringing together families of all races. So they launched a Branded Hashtag Challenge that would require participants and their families to learn traditional Malay Dikir Brat dance steps together.

To kickstart the #TepukSepuluh Hashtag Challenge campaign, Wisma used TikTok’s Brand Takeover to increase participation in the challenge. The campaign also involved several select influencers who challenged participants to learn and replicate a traditional Dikir Barat dance move using a popular traditional song.

#TepukSepuluh was also promoted within TikTok as a trending hashtag on the Discover page and the branded Malay music featured within TikTok’s Pick a Sound page. Also, they included Branded Effect placements or animated icons that could be added to videos to give them a dash of flair.

The Result

The TikTok campaign was a massive hit among TikTok users and performed beyond the expectations of Wisma Geylang Serai. The Brand Takeover Ad drove almost 98% of the traffic to the #TepukSepuluh Hashtag Challenge, resulting in 1.1 million Hashtag Challenge Impressions and 1,300 video submissions. Most importantly, the campaign saw participation not just from Malay but non-Malay TikTok users too.

Bottom Line

TikTok can be a great way to boost your brand awareness. However, you have to have a clear picture of how you want to leverage the different ad formats that TikTok offers. Also, you need to be very particular about the content; it has to be something that your target audience connects with instantly. Only then can you fully leverage the potential of this platform.


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