Expedia Travels To Throwback Thursday

In order to promote summer travel, Expedia and creative agency 180LA are tapping into social media's popular nostalgic trend with the “#ThrowMeBack” photo contest.

"Throwback Thursdays is a prolific social media trend that takes over our feeds every Thursday," says Matthew Woodhams-Roberts, Creative Director, 180LA. "We noticed that travel seems to be inherently linked to this trend as a large majority of people post pictures of their favorite past trips with friends and family. While posting pictures from the past conjures fond nostalgia, we wanted to literally throw people back to those memories and give them a chance to recreate those experiences."

Through September, people enter via Instagram or Twitter for a chance to win a travel voucher to recreate a favorite travel memory. Each week Expedia will pick a winner from users who follow Expedia on either Instagram or Twitter and tag their throwback Instagram or Twitter photo with @Expedia and #ThrowMeBack. Then winners can choose to use their travel voucher to either go back to where their photo was taken or pick somewhere else to create more summer memories.

"Many #tbt photos capture favorite travel memories,” says Vic Walia, Senior Director Brand Marketing at Expedia. “This is why Expedia wanted to integrate with this social trend and give people the opportunity to reconnect with these memories and create new ones."

To support the sweepstakes, Expedia and 180LA released the “Back to Ocean Beach” video which follows a family’s journey from Washington State to their old favorite beach spot in San Diego. Viewers see the family come together to relive a photo moment that was taken in 1980s. This new photo showcases the same wardrobe choices (albeit a few sizes bigger) and loading up in a classic VW van—the family’s road trip vehicle of choice.

This is Expedia's first Instagram-based campaign. Previously, the travel platform created web films, such as Find Your Understanding, and utilized social media channels to encourage viral buzz and increase brand awareness. Still, all campaigns share the common theme in making travel personal. "Therefore we always strive to engage our consumers in a way that authentically resonates," says Woodhams-Roberts.

180LA, a unit of Omnicom, has worked with Expedia since March 2012. Although Expedia declines to break out ad spend by platform (the company also owns Travelocity and Trivago), company executives say it is aggressively investing in sales and marketing this year.
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