Expedia Aims at the Wrong Problem

Expedia Aims at the Wrong Problem



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Expedia uses this internet video and its shorter versions edited into television commercials to link itself with the social media phenomenon of Throw Back Thursday photos.  In particular, Expedia attempts to connect the brand with warm memories by enabling people to travel back decades later to recreate those nostalgic photos.

Two problems.

First, the particular gathering portrayed here seems a little stiff and uneasy.  Even with smiles, laughter, and the magic of the editing room, things seem a bit strained.    Real people aren’t good at faking sincerity.  As a result, Expedia is creating a link not with the fun of travel but with the slight awkwardness of seeing people you haven’t seen in years.

Secondly, Expedia is tackling the wrong problem.  When people are choosing which travel site to use, warmth and nostalgia aren’t the deciding factors.  Expedia could easily find out which perceptions are the basis of travel site choice, but they apparently haven’t.

To find out what they need to know, Expedia shouldn’t ask people how they choose a travel site because frankly people don’t know.  They could ask people their perceptions of travel sites and perceptions of the people who use those sites and see which of those perceptions are related to preference and use.  When they do, they’ll find warm isn’t all that important.

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