Published on : Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Priceline.com, part of The Priceline Group and a leader in online and mobile travel that has saved customers over $10 billion since launch, announced the roll-out of a fresh strategy, user experience and multi-platform advertising campaign. Today’s modern traveler takes shorter and more frequent trips, according to priceline.com data, and the company’s new strategy will help customers connect with deals faster and more easily than before.
“Priceline.com has incredible deals in travel and we’ve now made it easier for customers to find them so they can take that trip,” stated Paul Hennessy, priceline.com’s Chief Executive Officer. “We took a hard look at today’s behavioral trends and they reveal travel’s core truth: travelers take more trips to visit family in places like Rome, Georgia than trips of a lifetime to places like Rome, Italy. A drastically improved product initiative and an expansive increase in available properties, followed by a complete site and app refresh, has put our hotel, rental car and air partners’ content in the spotlight so that no matter what kind of trip you need to take, we’ve put it on the line for you.”
New strategic direction to highlight choices
The impact of technology has fundamentally changed consumer behavior in travel and mobile technology and has led to rapid growth in access and content. Dedicated to offering consumers both broad availability and great deals, the company recently added over 300,000 properties of all types, including apartments and condos, and properties offering free cancellations and pay-at-arrival. Working with the best partners in the travel landscape, priceline.com now has one of the largest selections of luxury rental cars available and a completely redesigned mobile flight product. Over the years, the company has reinvented itself from a bidding model to a predominantly published price model with deeper discounts available through Express Deals and the lowest price possible through Name Your Own Price.
The new advertising campaign: “Whatever’s On the Line, Priceline”
Priceline.com’s new, multi-platform advertising campaign focuses on the life choices consumers make every day, from flying to a cousin’s wedding or a job interview, to visiting colleges with a son or daughter. The company is pivoting from its iconic ‘Priceline Negotiator,’ William Shatner, to now telling the pros and cons of everyday travel decisions, while reassuring consumers they should – and can afford to – take the trip. William Shatner will remain with the brand in his new role as narrator, providing humorous voiceover for every decision.
“The modern traveler is taking more last-minute, short duration, and frequent trips for work or pleasure, and we bring them deals, availability and easy-to-use platforms whatever the budget,” said Brett Keller, Chief Operating Officer at priceline.com. “When we were building our new advertising campaign with BBDO, we wanted to communicate that every trip mattered and that priceline.com had the deals – because for every trip, there’s something on the line: love, money, career, family, or sports. We also insisted the campaign be as funny as Shatner… and they nailed it.”
The new advertising campaign will debut during the pre-game show at Super Bowl 50 on Feb 7, 2016 with the first spot, entitled “Cousins.” The full series of five commercial advertisements will roll out during the first quarter of the year, with each spot posing the same question: “to go or not go.” The company will premiere its most high-profile spot during NBA All Star weekend, featuring NBA veterans Latrell Sprewell and the ‘Admiral’ David Robinson in a matchup of notorious vs. glorious, highlighting why you should definitely take the trip.
For the first time in the brand’s history, priceline.com will pre-launch a national brand campaign using Facebook’s extensive mobile targeting platform. The multi-faceted mobile video campaign, leverages Facebook’s unique ability to target life moments with its mobile audience. The custom video content will connect with users through a series of personalized pieces as they learn of their friends’ life moments from status changes and daily updates.
Streamlined, cross-platform user experience
Steeped in data analytics, priceline.com’s new product strategy is focused on personalization and speed. The average customer books more than half (51% in 2016 according to eMarketer) of their travel on a mobile platform and that number continues to grow. Of both “average travelers” and “heavy users” (12-15 trips), 75% of mobile bookings on priceline.com are reserved for same day or next day check-in. Already well-known for deals, priceline.com is removing complexity within the user experience to allow customers to find deals more quickly and with improved cross-platform capabilities. Over the last few years, priceline.com has developed products such as Deals Near Me, where a traveler can make a reservation for a room off an interstate when he or she gets tired, or Tonight-Only Deals®, where last-minute customers can tap into special deals. In the first half of 2016, consumers will continue to see changes, including a faster and more streamlined user experience, a site refresh with a new homepage, increased content and deals, interactive maps online and in the app, and additional discounts for signed-in customers based on favorite and frequent trips.