Lonely Planet, Ford Partner To Go Beyond Guidebooks

Lonely Planet and Ford Motor are partnering on a series of custom travel content and out-of-home experiential marketing.

Lonely Planet says the move is part of its push to reach audiences beyond its guidebooks. 

The company got a new CEO, Luis Cabrera, in February. When he took the position, Cabrera was tasked with setting the company on a new strategic direction. He said the company is poised to launch new ventures like festivals, tours and a membership program going forward. 

"Thinking of Lonely Planet as a platform completely changes the way brands and advertisers can partner with our brand," he told Publishers Daily.

The three-month, multiplatform deal with Ford Motor will center around the new 2020 Ford Explorer.

Hand-painted maps featuring local highlights will appear as co-branded murals on the sides of buildings in Brooklyn, Boston, Manhattan, Atlanta and Los Angeles.

A custom-travel video for each city featuring the new 2020 Ford Explorer will be hosted on a dedicated microsite, within custom travel articles on Lonely Planet’s destination pages and on Lonely Planet’s online video platform.

In a 2020 Ford Explorer, Lonely Planet travel influencers (called "Pathfinders") will explore each of the U.S. city destinations, starting at the mural and visiting highlighted spots and the surrounding areas.

Custom content will also be distributed across Lonely Planet’s Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channels.

“This highly collaborative and fully integrated range of activities has been created with the traveler in mind, allowing us to showcase the 2020 Ford Explorer harmoniously in our content, and in a way that will resonate with Lonely Planet’s audiences,” stated Lonely Planet vice president of experience Tom Hall. 

In addition, Lonely Planet recently acquired Trill Travel, an artificial intelligence-driven travel marketplace, and travel-guide content company ArrivalGuides.

Lonely Planet has printed more than 145 million guidebooks in the last 40 years.


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