Expedia helps you be who you want in Vegas

The travel site's latest campaign showcases its new emphasis on providing not only deals, but experiences too.

Expedia.ca’s latest marketing push around Las Vegas is showing off how it can provide various experiences in Sin City.

In a new TV spot for the “Vegas You” campaign, a group of people browsing the travel site are transported between the different kinds of people they could become in the city, from cultured foodies to pool-loving partiers to adventurous show-goers.

The campaign also includes out-of-home, 15-second online videos, digital display, social and influencer engagement, as well as a Vegas-focused microsite aimed at helping travelers find the hotel best-suited to the kinds of Vegas experiences they’re looking for.

Grip led creative on the campaign, with Veritas on PR, Mediacom on media buying and U.K.-based Infectious on programmatic.

Adam Francis, director of brand marketing at Expedia.ca, says Las Vegas is regularly in the top ten most popular destinations for the site and is regular focus for the site’s advertising, like the content-heavy push it made at the end of 2014. What’s changed is that its ads are less focused on offers and deals, and more on the actual experiences it can help travelers have.

Earlier this year, Expedia and Ipsos did a great deal of research around Las Vegas as a destination for Canadians, looking at motivations for going there, activities they are looking to do once they get there and even search behaviour around planning their trip. One thing it revealed was that consumers were looking for added value from travel providers that went beyond offering the lowest price points, or extras like free tickets.

“Our industry can get so hung up on the conversion aspect, you forget that travel is also about the actual experience,” Francis says. “We heard that a lot in the research, so we figured we should bring some of the inspirational aspect of travel into a campaign. Having low prices is still very important to us, but we’re presenting them in a way that goes beyond just showing a list of all the offers and deals.”

On the microsite, hotels and packages are organized by niches revealed by the research, such as fine dining, shopping, shows and, of course, gambling, similar to the different personalities seen in the spot. Francis says the site’s traditional “sweet spot” is travelers over 40, but since many Vegas travelers are between 21- and 34-years-old, the creative is meant to appeal to both younger and older demographics.

Earlier in the summer, Expedia ran a campaign focused on domestic travel, and Francis says that was when the company first began to test its new marketing approach, with Vegas being its first full-fledged foray into making the marketing, product and travel experiences as seamless as possible. He adds this will likely be a guiding approach to its marketing going forward.

“One of the things we want to focus on as a brand going forward is the customer,” Francis says. “That means not just serving them the top deals, but making sure you’re helping to provide the kind of experiences they’re seeing in our marketing.”