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    Research Digest

    Travel Brands Take Note—Consumers are Taking Action After Viewing Ads on CTV

    Abstract

    • A majority of travel decision makers said that they visited an advertiser’s website after seeing an ad on CTV.
    • With the world moving ever-closer to a “post-pandemic” level of normalcy, travel is on the rise.
    • Consumer spend on travel is predicted to keep increasing.

    Connected TV ads make waves with travelers.

    As traditional television watching wanes and viewers transition to streaming services, Connected TV (CTV) is proving itself a powerful advertising channel for a wide variety of brands. Over the last few years, travel brands in particular have experienced a lift from targeting CTV audiences.

    In March 2021, a majority of travel decision makers (65%)¹ said that they visited an advertiser’s website after seeing an ad on CTV. These travel advertisements not only drove potential customers to brand websites, they also influenced viewers to take action—with 56% of people reporting that they watched videos about various destinations and 51% saying that they conducted further research about locations following viewing a travel-focused CTV ad.

    These stats should encourage travel brands to invest in CTV advertising (if they haven’t already), especially considering that it appears travel isn’t slowing down in 2022.

    “Post-Pandemic” Travel Continues to Increase

    With the world moving ever-closer to a “post-pandemic” level of normalcy, travel is on the rise. In fact, about six in 10 Americans² plan to take at least one summer trip this year.

    Long gone are the days when travel agents reigned supreme. Now, consumers are taking travel planning into their own hands, often with help from various travel booking websites (Airbnb, Kayak, Expedia, etc.). Knowing this, it’s not surprising that more and more consumers are booking travel digitally. While numbers haven’t quite bounced back to pre-pandemic levels, the quantity of people who booked travel—accommodation, airline, rental car, cruise, hotel and transportation—via the internet is up significantly year-over-year (120M people in 2022 vs. 102M people in 2021)³. And, according to eMarketer, the amount of digital travel bookers will continue to increase as time goes on, hitting a high at 128.8M in 2025.

    Travel Spend is on the Rise

    Not only will the number of people traveling each year keep growing, traveler spend is predicted to go up as well.

    “Whether they’re in the research and discovery stage of where to go and what to do, or on the actual trip itself, travelers have signaled that they are using discretionary income to enjoy such an opportunity,” Jeff Teng, VP of Business Development at MNTN told us. “Particularly as consumers are now more comfortable with the pandemic, there’s tremendous pent-up demand for travel.”

    A recent study by the U.S. Travel Association reinforces Teng’s thoughts. It predicts that domestic and international travel expenditures in the United States will jump to $1,063B in 2022 (up from $877M in 2021) and $1,160B in 2023⁴.

    With the knowledge that CTV advertisements drive website visits and that travel and travel spend are on the up and up, brands can use these insights to their advantage.

    “For advertisers, there is an enormous opportunity to capture a share of travelers’ wallets, anywhere from air, to accommodations, to activities,” said Teng. “Whether you’re an airline, hotel, car rental agency, travel insurance company or activities merchant, targeting this audience is highly valuable.”

    Brands should also consider targeting consumers who are actively traveling. Here’s why:

    Travelers Are Taking Their Living Rooms With Them

    Travel doesn’t just refer to exciting adventures and exploring the world, it can also mean downtime in the form of relaxing at a hotel, Airbnb, etc. No matter the type of lodging they’re staying in, many consumers are bringing the comfort of home with them—often plugging into smart TVs with their own CTV devices (Roku, Amazon Fire TV Stick, etc.) or logging in to personal streaming service accounts (Hulu, Peacock, or otherwise).

    This consumer behavior has opened yet another door for CTV advertisers. Brands can now develop unique messaging for in-destination audiences—aka people who are currently visiting a specific location—to bolster the likelihood of conversion.

    Conclusion

    Planes, trains and automobiles—no matter the type of transportation, travelers are ready to explore the world again. Additionally, this group of consumers has shown itself to be especially receptive to CTV ads. This knowledge paired with travel and travel spend being on the rise has presented a huge opportunity for advertisers in the space. No matter if they’re fresh to the channel or CTV advertising veterans, now is a great time for travel brands to consider dedicating time and resources to CTV audiences who are likely to take action after viewing ads.

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