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Orbitz marries video and commerce to drive mobile bookings

By
January 8, 2013

Online travel agency Orbitz is giving hotel reservations a boost with a new campaign that uses online video to persuade consumers to book from their handsets.

The campaign consists of seven online videos that encourage consumers to explore various areas of New York. Orbitz has partnered with Empire State Development on this initiative.

“The strategy here is to leverage traditional digital assets with the state of New York,” said Josh Winkler, vice president of partner marketing at Orbitz, Chicago.

“Through the power of video, we partnered with Richard Bangs to give people a sense of what to expect in New York,” he said.

Video bookings
The microsite http://www.orbitz.com/NYState serves as a hub for all content. The site is available via mobile devices and PCs.

Each video goes over a specific theme for the destination. For instance, videos highlighting the Catskills shows users the landscape and cultural areas of interest – including restaurants and bars – that are of interest to consumers.

Travel expert Richard Bangs is the guide for each video.

Below each video, consumers can view a group of recommended hotels in the area that can be booked from Orbitz’s mobile site.

Consumers can enter their check-in and check-out days and enter promo codes to confirm their booking.

Additionally, users can view photos, read reviews and learn about amenities.

Through Jan. 31, the marketing videos will run in conjunction with a sale on Orbitz.com to offer up to 30 percent off hotels in New York.

This campaign marks the first time that Orbitz has featured a location in the United States as part of its Orbitz Originals series.

Quick bookings
According to research from Google and Ipsos MediaCT, video can be particularly effective in getting consumers to book a trip.

Per a study conducted between the two companies, 74 percent of affluent travelers and 45 percent of leisure travelers are interested in booking a trip after watching an online video.

Orbitz has been active in the mobile space in the past year.

In Dec. 2011, the company rolled out a mobile-exclusive Web site to target last-minute travelers looking for bargains (see story).

Then in June, the brand relaunched its iPhone app to hone in on deals. Orbitz claims that nine percent of the company’s hotel bookings and two percent of sales from travel packages coming from handsets in the first quarter of 2012. (see story).

“The Orbitz Originals concept was launched in Jan. 2012 – since then we have gotten more tourism boards familiar with the project and seen great results from the videos and the bookings as well,” Mr. Winkler said.

“Mobile is going to continue to play a key role in the growing of our business,” he said.

“On the hotel side, we are seeing a significant number of same-day hotel bookings being made via mobile and expect to see it growing in 2013.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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