Hotels.com goes to the extreme to promote app

DALLAS: Hotels.com launched a fully integrated campaign supporting its mobile app with extreme athlete JT Holmes.

DALLAS: Hotels.com launched a fully integrated campaign supporting its mobile app with extreme athlete and skydiver JT Holmes.

The campaign, which launched on social media channels today, shows consumers they can book hotels from anywhere in the world using the mobile app, including in mid-air. The app was created by the company's product development team last year, but was enhanced in the first quarter of 2011.

In order to promote the app, Hotels.com targeted key bloggers who have followers interested in travel and adventure. Seven of the bloggers went with the company to Lake Tahoe in the middle of August to film the video of JT Holmes skydiving and booking a hotel while falling through the air.

“We wanted to work with bloggers who could make this story come to life,” said Taylor Cole, director of PR and social media for Hotels.com North America. “We could have just taken a pure travel angle or a sports angle, but the combination of technology along with travel and mobile and the element of extreme adventure made it very interesting.”

Cole said Ruder Finn, the company's PR AOR in the US for the last two years, and Energi PR, a Canada-based agency, worked closely with all internal teams at Hotels.com, such as advertising, creative, and PR, to get the word out about the “extreme” campaign. Hotels.com's in-house communications team consists of three people.

Ruder Finn, according to Cole, has been working on the initiative since the concept phase and is now focusing on execution, event activation, message development, and media outreach.

Hotels.com's AOR for social media, Sanscape, is promoting the campaign through the brand's Facebook and Twitter accounts by posting relevant messages and tweets, while influential bloggers post articles about the mobile app and the video with JT Holmes. The video is also available on the Hotels.com YouTube channel and its microsite thesmarterapp.com, and related commercials will soon be seen on television.

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