Five Reasons Why Odd Bedfellows in Tourism Campaigns Are Brilliant

March 7, 2013

Recently, several tourism brands have formed unusual partnership with millennial brands to help them launch new campaigns.

Travel Nevada wanted to let consumers know there’s more to the state than just Las Vegas. Instead of only rolling out banner ads, they partnered with popular website, BuzzFeed, the viral social media site, to combine content with online advertisements.NevadaBuzzFeed

BuzzFeed sent two of its editors on a road trip across the state to tweet and blog about the lesser-known ghost towns and scenic spots.

The sponsored partnership was a huge success. received 118,000 views and content was shared 4,615 times.

Destination MarketingHilton Hotels partnered with the satirical news organization, The Onion, to launch a health-themed website where users can diagnose their “vacationitis” and receive prescriptions for a holiday. The Onion Labs, The Onion’s creative services, created sharable memes describing the symptoms of “vacationitis” including our personal favorites of “Straight to Vociemailaria” (chronic avoidance of clients manifested by automatic default to voicemail) and “Replyallgia” (the result of a flood of “reply all” email).

Why did these partnerships work so well?

  • More than just an advertisement. Both campaigns are fully integrated campaigns that expand across several social media networks. Unlike an advertisement with simple one way communication, they allow interaction with the brand message.
  • It’s funny. The content is clever and playful. The brand’s messaging may have not been so colorful if they hadn’t gone with these comedic partners.
  • Can be easily shared. Because the content is funny, people want to share it. Additionally, it’s easy to share. BuzzFeed is one of the most shared website; the Onion memes have functionality where you can share your symptom in one click.
  • Adds credibility. Research shows that consumers are more likely to trust third party sources. The blogs and tweets by the BuzzFeed editors give more authority to their roadtrip.   
  • Broadens audience. Both BuzzFeed and The Onion reach the attractive 18-45 year old audience, which Travel Nevada and Hilton Hotels may not have been reaching before these campaigns.

If you’re a DMO, consider looking outside your normal partnerships to find opportunities to promote your brand. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.

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