Orbitz: Take Vacation Back


Business situation and campaign objectives:

Online travel agencies, such as Orbitz, let consumers search and book flights and hotels from many different airlines and hotel brands all in one place. It is an extremely commoditized marketplace, where prices often do not differ dramatically from site to site. Because of this lack of price differentiation, the website experience and brand advertising are the best ways for an online travel agency to convince consumers they are the best site to use for travel planning. Consumer research revealed that Orbitz was viewed as highly substitutable among companies like Expedia and Travelocity, with no clear brand personality or differentiated benefits. So our challenge was to create differentiation and relevance, while building the Orbitz brand on a very modest media spend relative to competitors.

Strategic analysis also highlighted that online travel category advertising was mainly price-focused, so we saw an opportunity to differentiate and build a unique voice in the marketplace. We felt that by moving to a more emotional level (while still reassuring consumers we had great prices), it would allow us to connect with our travel-loving consumers in a deeper way. "Unlock the joy of travel" was our newly developed "noble purpose" which our brand team created through a multi-stage brand workshop with our agency, BBDO, combining knowledge about the white space in category advertising along with deep consumer insights about our target.