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    Research Digest

    Data-Driven CTV Creative Recommendations for Travel Marketers

    Abstract

    • US travel bookings are 49% higher than they were at this point last year, and even 26% higher than pre-pandemic times in 2019.
    • 86% of consumers interested in travel are CTV viewers, and 77% have watched ad-supported CTV in the last year. 
    • The best time to reach consumers with travel related messages is between 1-3 months in advance of their trip.
    • 72% percent of travelers want to have a positive impact on the communities and businesses they visit.

    As the summer heats up, so does consumer interest in travel. Here are some creative recommendations for Travel brands looking to make an impact.

    It’s been a difficult couple of years for travel brands, with less consumers interested in taking trips due to the uncertainty of the pandemic. But recent data shows that travel has once again been picking up, and at an even higher rate than before the pandemic. AirDNA found that US travel bookings are 49% higher than they were at the same time last year, and even 26% higher than pre-pandemic times in 2019. And another study reveals that 85% of adults are interested in traveling this summer, with many unsurprisingly taking more vacation time than they did last year.

    2022 is also looking like it will be the year of travel advertising on Connected TV, with more consumers becoming reachable on the channel than ever before. According to a study from MRI-Simmons, 86% of those consumers interested in travel are CTV viewers, and 77% have watched ad-supported CTV in the last year. Not only that, but 49% of all US consumers who are interested in travel cannot be reached through traditional linear TV

    This rise in popularity presents an opportunity to advertisers. Video is one of the best ways to share travel messages, allowing marketers to draw viewers in with enticing visuals and sound that will make it easier for consumers to picture themselves already traveling. And no screen is better at immersing a consumer into a new world than television—one study found that 68% of CTV viewers engage with commercials. TV screens are also associated with higher levels of trust than other channels, and according to YouGov, 46% of US adults find advertising on TV to be trustworthy (as opposed to the 38% for search engines, and 19% for social media).

    49% of all US consumers who are interested in travel cannot be reached through traditional linear TV.

    MRI-Simmons

    Travel brands advertising on Connected TV can also take advantage of the superior targeting capabilities to ensure their messages are tailored to their consumers based on their locations, demographics, and online behaviors. A study from Lucid found that 65% of consumers who saw a Connected TV travel ad visited that advertiser’s website, as seen in table 1. These CTV viewers were also more likely to watch videos about that location (56%), conduct more research (51%), and discuss the ad with their friends and family (47%). 

    Creative Recommendations for CTV Travel Advertisers 

    But even with the opportunity ripe before them, travel advertisers still need to make sure their creative is primed to drive conversions before serving ads to consumers. Here are some factors that travel advertisers should be considering as they look to reach travelers during the summer months: 

    • Incorporate Topics That Convert: While timing and value are important to any campaign message, it is ultimately the content of an advertisement that will determine whether a consumer will convert. In an analysis of more than 1,800 CTV commercials, QuickFrame’s AI-powered creative analytics tool, Video Vitals, revealed a number of useful insights for travel marketers. Travel ads that featured travel hacks, for example, resulted in a 97% higher visit rate than average, along with a 29% higher conversion rate. On the other hand, a focus on road trips or tourists in the ads resulted in a -141% and -7% conversion rate versus the average, respectively. 
    • Address Consumer Concerns: Despite the loosening of restrictions on travel to a number of locations, many consumers are still worried about the ongoing COVID pandemic and the impact of recent rises in inflation on their budgets. A study from Redpoint Global found that the top areas of concern for US consumers interested in travel were health and safety (29%), costs of travel (25%), and gas prices (17%). Travel brands can head these concerns off at the pass by incorporating flexible booking policies, travel insurance, or customer safety into their campaign messages.
    • Consumers Are Planning Ahead, and Travel Brands Should Too: Consumers interested in travel are more likely than any other consumer group to research and book well in advance of their actual plans. According to a study from eMarketer conducted in February, the best time to reach consumers with travel related messages is between 1-3 months in advance of their trip. That is when US adults interested in travel will be arranging transportation (31%), arranging accommodations (33%), and selecting their destinations (31%). However, the lead time on travel bookings has shortened over the last year, with consumers waiting until closer to their desired vacation times to book their trips, ensuring that nothing unexpected occurs. As a result, some consumers will wait until there is less than a month between their booking and trip to commit. So with the summer months ahead, travel brands who have not yet released their campaigns for the season still have the opportunity to get their ads in front of interested consumers with messages addressing consumers looking for last minute deals.
    • Align Messages With Consumer Values: Consumers are more mindful about their purchases and bookings than ever. According to The American Express 2022 Global Travel Trends Report, 72% percent of travelers want to have a positive impact on the communities and businesses they visit, and 69% are interested in booking with brands that support diversity and inclusion in their workforces. Some consumers are also looking to leave less of an impact on the world during their travel, by booking trips with brands that are sustainable (68%) and carbon negative (55%). By highlighting good business practices and eco-friendly offerings, travel marketers can better engage with these mindful consumers through their Connected TV campaigns.

    Conclusion

    With summer now upon us, it’s the perfect time to capture any last minute summer travelers with marketing campaigns. Ultimately, the numbers show that Connected TV is one of the best ways for travel brands to reach prospective consumers due to its engaging format and large audience. And by planning ahead, aligning campaign messages with consumer values, and incorporating topics that convert, travel brands can ensure that their CTV campaigns are a success.

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