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Effective Travel Ads: Examples and Ideas

Contextual and media advertising
Digital Marketing
PPC
March 4, 2024
15 mins
Content

Looking for fresh ideas on how to create ads for your travel business? In this article, we'll explore tourism advertisement, focusing on what really resonates with the viewers. We’ll share a selection of creative ideas and insights for marketers looking to kickstart their travel campaigns. Stay with us and get inspired.

Features of Engaging Travel Ads

Creating ads that grab attention and get stuck in one’s head, making them hum the ad’s catchy tunes on the way to work, isn't easy—it takes a whole team of creative minds. But even with all that creativity, these ads often share some key elements and are built on the same basic principles.

The 5 Commandments of Good Travel Ads:

1. Emotional resonance. Ads that evoke feelings of excitement, peace, or adventure tend to connect more deeply with viewers, encouraging them to imagine themselves in the setting.

2. Visual storytelling. Can’t afford a team of outstanding screenwriters? Luckily, in the tourism industry it’s often enough just to show what a destination looks like. This is the case, when an image speaks a thousand words, and a video is worth a thousand pictures.

3. Compelling narratives. Storytelling and a simple, but strong message is what truly sets great ads apart. Always keep in mind that people don’t want to buy tickets and tours - they pay for emotions, memories and adventures with their loved ones. If you want to create a strong message, define for yourself what your company’s mission is, and how exactly you aim to make your clients’ lives happier and easier.

4. Personalization. Speaking to a broad audience is rarely sufficient. Spend extra time to understand who your clients are. What are their lifestyles, budget, values? At what stage of decision-making are they? Are they just window shopping? Are they thinking about where to spend their honeymoons? Or maybe, they already have a destination in mind, and now search for the best deals? Conduct a survey, use big data and hire a strategy team to learn everything about your target audience.

5. Call to action. A self-explanatory, but often overlooked point. A strong CTA that clearly guides viewers on how to explore more about the destination or offer ensures the ad doesn't just captivate but also converts interest into action.

6 Best Travel Advertisement Examples

Let’s take a look at some travel ad examples to see how the industry giants do it.

1. American Express Travel

Why does this Delta SkyMiles American Express Cards ad work? It’s short, its message is perfectly clear and simple, and it speaks to a very specific demographic. If you’ve ever been in a long-distance relationship, you know how expensive it is to keep seeing your significant other frequently. Amex doesn’t offer their clients to save some money on flights. Instead, it offers to remove the obstacle that stands between them and their desired love lives.

In this ad, Amex offers exclusive access to event presales, to dedicated venue entryways and Card Member lounges:

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Here is what the Vice President of Global Brand Advertising at Amex, Jessica Ling, has to say about this ad:

“Sports have the power to connect communities around the world. We’re excited to launch these high-energy, contextually relevant ad spots that show a mother and daughter building their connection through a shared love of sports. We hope by watching these stories, viewers will get a taste of the energy and excitement that comes with experiencing sports with Amex.”

2. Booking.com

What does the following Booking ad sell?

Right, it sells the opportunity to try oneself in different roles people don’t get to play in their everyday lives. Whether you're an office worker or a stay-at-home dad, book a vacation and be an explorer, an artist, or a professional surfer. This ad is a pro example of when a strong message gets across even without precise targeting.

And here is a banner ad by Booking:

travel ad examples

It has several noteworthy features:

  • a great photo, which conveys emotions;
  • a clear and straigh-forward CTA;
  • seasonality (it is tied to New Year -  a time, when most people probably reevaluated their life decisions and promised themselves to experience life more);
  • a limited special offer.

travel ad examples

Most companies strive to be omnipresent and reach viewers through all the possible channels. Here is an ad that runs across META platforms. Nothing fancy, but the main elements of a good ad are still here. It features a short video of surfers, a clear CTA that invites to install the app, and a short message that highlights the company’s main proposition - the possibility to find and book a place fast and easy. 

The company makes sure to dominate the search result pages too. Just last month they ran around 2.1M Search ads on Google:

travel ad examples

And even though their Paid Ads game is strong, the company visibly invests a lot of resources into Search Engine Optimization. This way booking.com appears on the search result pages of most of the travel-related queries, saving a lot on clicks:

travel ad examples


3. Agoda

Most of the tourism industry giants use pop-up ads on their websites:

travel ad examples

It’s a great opportunity to inform about your current special offers, or get visitors on the email list in return for some bonuses. You have to be careful with pop up ads though - sometimes they can do more harm than good. 

Read more about how to make effective pop up ads here

Another effective strategy that many companies use is user-generated ads:

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Such approach kills several birds with one stone:

  • it costs basically nothing;
  • it serves as a social proof and makes the company look trustworthy;
  • you get exposure among the users’ following.

travel ad examples

Agoda also runs ads on Meta. This ad in particular is 6 seconds long, but enough for the actor to say the buzzwords:  “cashbacks, coupons, discounts”. Most companies use short formats on social media ads, saving longer and more complex video ads for Youtube.

And here is a beautiful campaign run by Agoda during the pandemic:

It shows sympathy for everyone stuck at home, and shifts the focus from closed borders to discovering places in our own countries. It’s compassionate and doesn’t pressure us to purchase anything. It simply suggests that now might be the time to see more of our own countries, and Agoda is here to help with special offers. 

The recipe is the same:

Understanding the pain of the target audience + strong positive message + beautiful emotional storytelling + great visuals. 

4. Kayak

Be like other successful companies and don’t forget about mobile marketing. Travel companies that have mobile apps actively invest in Paid User Acquisition and App Store Optimization. 

travel ad examples
travel ad examples

But, of course, mobile marketing isn’t limited inside the app stores. Here is a creative and slightly dark YouTube ad from Kayak marketers, who did a great job at understanding the struggles of their target audience:

One more proof that the Kayak marketing team just gets us:

travel ad examples

No, we’re not telling you to use politics in your marketing messages. But it’s always worth it to keep up with the latest news and trends, in which people are emotionally invested. If done tastefully, such ads are likely to become viral and connect with big audiences. 

5. Airbnb 

Take a look at this campaign that ran on YouTube and TikTok:

Just perfect targeting. If you can, always address different segments separately.

6. Expedia

travel ad examples

This is an Expedia Facebook ad. If you look closely, you'll notice it's structured similarly to the travel ad examples from other companies we've discussed. It targets parents with family-friendly packages and features a clear call to action (CTA).

Expedia has a very strong social media game. Apart from the most popular media, it also runs ads on Pinterest, which has less competition and still isn't widely-used for advertising.

travel ad examples

This video ad from Expedia is another good example of appealing to emotions and using a strong slogan:

If you’d like to get more inspiring ideas and see ad examples, choose a brand you look up to and browse through their social media and YouTube account. Also, Google, Meta and TikTok have open ad libraries that show what kind of campaigns run on the platforms at the moment. 

Ideas for Crafting Effective Travel Ads

Now let’s sum up what we have seen. Based on successful campaigns from leading companies, here are some straightforward ideas for making ads that connect with viewers and inspire action.

🥰 Make an Emotional Connection

Try to create a strong emotional bond with your audience. Like Agoda's campaign during the pandemic, show you understand and care about your audience's current challenges. Showing support for your clients without pushing for sales can make your brand feel more relatable and trustworthy.

🌍 Keep Up with Trends and News

As suggested in the Kayak example, staying updated with the latest trends and news can make your ads more relevant and engaging. This approach can help your ad become popular and connect with more people.

🤳 Use Content from Your Customers

Add content made by your customers, as it's cost-effective and acts as proof of trust. Ads with content from users can make your brand seem more credible and expand your reach to the users' followers, making your company seem more reliable.

✔️ Show Clear Benefits

Make sure your ad clearly shows the unique advantages your service offers, like the Amex Miles Cards ad that focuses on solving a specific problem for its target audience. Ads that clearly state their benefits tend to work better.

🗂️ Target Carefully

Make your message specific for different groups of people, as shown by Airbnb's campaign. The more personalized your ad feels to its viewers, the more effective it will be.

💡 Use Eye-catching Visuals and Easy-to-Remember Slogans

Use striking visuals and catchy slogans to make your ads memorable. Expedia's video ad is a good example of how using emotions with great visuals and a strong slogan can make a big impact.

💰 Promote Special Offers and Benefits

Don't hesitate to highlight special access, discounts, or special deals, as Amex Travel does. These incentives can be a key factor for people thinking about making a purchase.

➡️ Have a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)

Your ad should have a straightforward CTA, telling viewers exactly what to do next. Whether it's booking a trip, looking at discounts, or signing up for an email list, make the next step clear.

🍁 Take Advantage of Seasonal Trends

Use seasonal trends and holidays to make your ads feel more timely and relevant. Booking.com's banner ad related to New Year's resolutions is a great example of how to connect with people's mindsets during different seasons and holidays.

By applying these simpler ideas, drawn from the practices of top travel companies, you can create effective travel ads that grab attention, spark interest, and get viewers to engage with your brand.

Unlock Your Potential with Promodo

We know managing ads can be tough. To make a successful campaign, you need strategic approach and creativity. But you don't have to figure it out by yourself. Promodo experts are ready to help you every step of the way, from researching the market and running A/B tests to launching pay-per-click campaigns and analyzing the results. Get in touch with us today, and let's talk about how we can help you reach your goals.

Here is the feedback we got after working on destination marketing for National Tourism Department of Seychelles:

tourism ads examples
Click for detailed review

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Written by
Anastasia Marchyshak

Content Marketing Manager at Promodo

Immersing myself fully in any topic I explore and my appreciation for simplicity are the driving forces behind my work.

Published:
March 4, 2024
Updated:
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