Transat offers fun to the highest bidder

The travel company held a Cyber Monday auction on Twitter with a charitable twist.

Transat injected the giving spirit into its Cyber Monday promotion, auctioning off travel packages and donating all the proceeds.

For Cyber Monday, Transat held a 10-hour Sun Auction, putting a new trip up for bidding every 30 minutes. After finding out information about each trip on the auction microsite, bids were made entirely over Twitter using the hashtag #SunAuction. Over 47,000 bids were made on 20 different travel packages, bringing in a grand total of $35,097, with all proceeds going to SOS Children’s Villages Canada. Transat began promoting the auction on Nov. 29 on Twitter. DentsuBos was the agency partner on the campaign.

Genevieve LeBrun, senior director of marketing at Transat, says this time of year is always a busy buying period for travel regardless of how big days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become for consumers, but Transat felt this was a good way to reach consumers at a time when they have been “programmed” to look for interesting deals online. She adds that it was an opportunity to do some good among the rampant consumerism.

SOS is non-profit focused on aiding orphaned and abandoned children worldwide. Transat has worked closely with SOS since 2009, sharing stories of the work the non-profit does with travellers in flight. The money raised by the auction with be used to provide sports equipment to kids in Mexico and the Caribbean, travel destinations that Transat has been focusing on with its “Sun for Everyone” brand positioning.

The Sun Auction site had over 86,000 unique visitors during the auction, but it also generated six million potential impressions on Twitter, which Lebrun says was chosen as the bidding platform for its ease of use and to amplify the message. She adds that even if potential travellers didn’t bid themselves, the auction reinforces Transat’s connection with more tropical travel destinations and potentially shows Canadians services they weren’t aware they could get from the company.

“It shows that we can make your holiday down south affordable in multiple ways, and can probably get a few people to start dreaming about their upcoming vacations,” she says. “It also exposes Canadians to everything we offer, because in some markets, like Vancouver, we aren’t as well known as we are in Toronto and Montreal.”