Cannes Lions

America Is For Everyone

H&S, New York / BOOKING.COM / 2021

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Overview

Background

During the time of creative, the nation was at a standstill. New lockdowns were in place. A second wave of the coronavirus was just beginning to taper off. The Presidential Election was at its most contentious. Americans were more divided than ever. Through commissioned research, Booking.com understood Americans in all demographics and geographies were yearning to be reunited with what they loved most—travel could take them there. 57% wanted to travel to a cultural destination and 66% wanted to travel because it allowed them to experience different cultures and traditions. We were tasked with developing an idea that could channel the transformative and unifying qualities of travel while breaking through the 24/7 newscycle. The objective was to spotlight that Booking.com believes in the power of travel to create positive impact and advocates breaking down barriers to exploration by helping Americans in the ultimate celebration of our differences: travel.

Idea

America Is For Everyone was designed to remind Americans that this nation is about countless of cultures coming together to form these United States. Booking.com invited Americans to reconnect with international culture right in their own backyard. Amidst a difficult year, marked by a global pandemic that was taking its toll on every aspect of life and keeping Americans from experiencing travel the way they used to, Booking.com inspired the nation to celebrate and rediscover the incredible diversity and amazing mosaic of international cultures that lives and breathes within the nation. Booking.com broadcast that what unites Americans is ultimately stronger than what divides them, and that travel, even if only domestic, has a restorative role to play in bringing us closer together—61% of them realized travel is critical to their emotional well-being. A message not being heard through the divisive campaign rhetoric or pessimistic pandemic news—this broke through.

Strategy

The insight revolved around this concept of if Americans were shown the unexpectedly international look and feel of destinations across the country, it would remind them of our diversity encouraging them to explore some of the amazing international cultures that existed in their own backyard. Allowing Americans to booking a stay—as it was safe to do so—and immerse themselves in the idea that America truly is for EVERYONE. With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, even when closer to home, the campaign reinforced Booking.com's belief that experiencing the world and all of its culture can help unite Americans in unprecedented times of challenge. The campaign highlighted destinations in the U.S. that celebrate a selection of the countless cultures that have shaped the nation—uniting us in our diversity. Through earned media, compelling content, and experiential pop-ups across the country, we activated the idea.

Execution

It was only three and a half weeks to execute with both Halloween and the looming election as headwinds for any other news story. From October 21st (sign off) to the media relations, content, and experiential builds completion on November 16th, 10 accommodations across the country were transformed into the ultimate epitome of the culture they were intended to represent in the community where they were located while capturing spectacularly vibrant content in them, including: Little Haiti in Miami, FL, Little India in Jersey City, NJ and Little Ethiopia in Silver Spring, MD to Germantown in Frankenmuth, MI and Greektown in Tarpon Springs, FL, the message way: you don’t need to hop on a plane to be transported to places, people, and vibrant cultures from around the globe. America’s own country is ripe with incredible cultures to explore close to home—all executed during a peak in the pandemic.

Outcome

The campaign was strategically timed towards the 2020 U.S. election, capitalizing on a key moment in time in a priority market for Booking.com. Again, the goal was to insert the brand into the conversation with a message of unity and the positive impact travel can have in bringing people together and measuring the impact of a bolder, edgier message, on brand awareness and sentiment. The results overdelivered on both KPIs and ROI. The results were clear: 993.7M earned media impressions, 147 earned media placements, 2,379 Booking.com mentions in the messaging, top-tier headline inclusions, received local/unique coverage in ALL 50 states, +6pt Brand Equity - Meaningfulness in Q4 of 2020, 450,000+ visits to the America Is For Everyone landing page 11,355,571 social media impressions organically from 16 posts, increased position social media sentiment by 26% The #AIFE message significantly resonated with audiences. #AmericaIsForEveryone gave local travelers the opportunity to experience international culture all while remaining close to home. Allowed to explore beyond the horizon is central to the American identity and Booking.com aimed for the list to make it easier for Americans to set out on a journey to embrace all the country has to offer, as it slowly becomes safe to travel again, and show the world how travel can help bring us together even when we feel so far apart. We may not be able to travel far, but even the shortest trips can bridge the widest divides.

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