Expedia Partners With Hawaii Tourism Authority

Expedia is launching a global marketing campaign with The Hawaii Tourism Authority that integrates custom-built facial recognition software and drone footage. 

Via Expedia Media Solutions, the advertising arm within Expedia, the “Discover Your Aloha” effort aims to provide travelers with personalized recommendations based on their physical facial responses to video content showcasing the beauty and unique cultural elements of the Hawaiian Islands. 

The facial recognition software was developed specifically for this campaign by digital agency Realise. The video footage was produced by creative agency Mustache.

The year-long campaign functions across desktop and mobile devices, and will reach target audiences with display advertising, themed social media takeovers and exclusive travel deals. 



It includes a microsite:, where users are exposed to video content featuring drone footage, that represent a guide of spiritual significance to Hawaiian culture, including ‘Iwa (Bird): Hawai‘i’s all-knowing guide; He‘e (Octopus): Hawai‘i’s loving spirit; Pua‘a (Pig): Hawai‘i’s bold adventurer. As the video plays, the bespoke facial recognition software identifies which footage evokes the most positive reaction from the viewer. 

The facial recognition algorithm identifies the personal preferences of each viewer and produces a customized travel recommendation aligned with one of the three Hawai‘i guides. Users then have the opportunity to book a personalized Hawai‘i vacation package with discounts of up to 50 percent, including exclusive offers from dozens of participating local hotels.

The campaign was custom designed and built for the HTA, from start to finish, as a unique way to inspire, inform and incite travel to the Hawaiian Islands.

“We are always experimenting with new and innovative technologies that can empower our marketing partners to engage with travelers in fresh and exciting ways,” Angelique Miller, global director for creative partnerships at Expedia Media Solutions, tells Marketing Daily. “We are excited to see the engagement in this year-long campaign, and will be optimizing and refreshing the content to drive repeat interest in seeing all that the Hawaiian Islands offers visitors.”

The campaign aims to generate awareness and increase incremental demand to the Hawaiian Islands and uses innovative technology and inspirational content as a way to connect with traveler, especially Millennial audiences. It targets consumers across the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand with display advertising on Expedia,, Orbitz, Travelocity and Wotif points of sale. It will also be promoted on The Hawaii Tourism Authority’s social channels, to drive users to the Discover Your Aloha landing pages.

To complement the microsite, Hawai‘i travel guides will host takeovers of Expedia’s social channels, including Instagram and Snapchat, throughout the year to share new, seasonal and behind-the-scenes content. These takeovers will help the coveted millennial audience discover their ideal Hawai‘i experience, and increase awareness for the destination’s one-of-a-kind culture and geography.

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