Travel sector gets personal at Cannes Lions festival

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Travel sector gets personal at Cannes Lions festival
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Travel is one industry that has been fuelling creative chat at the Cannes Lions festival on the French Riviera.

The annual event brings together thousands of branded communications, marketing and advertising experts on the coast.

Seismic shift

The travel sector has seen a seismic shift in recent years in how it tries to win customers in a noisy market. And, at a time when the industry faces pressure over climate change, it has had to think how it can reduce carbon footprints and fucntion in a way that is greener and cleaner.

One social media campaign being showcased at Cannes this year was designed to encourage German consumers to travel more at home, by train – by targeting them with images of overseas destinations, alongside similar looking places within Germany.

"Seventy per cent of people were travelling abroad by plane, so we were focusing in the campaign on saying hey, look, you totally forgot how beautiful your own country is and what kind of landscapes we've got there and what kind of excitement," explained Stephan Vogel, EMEA chief creative officer at Ogilvy.

"Everything you can find in Vancouver, in Phoenix, Arizona – you can also find a similar landscape and a similar thing in Germany."

Profiling passenger types

Airlines want to keep their passengers too though. They are doing this by investing in cleaner, more efficient planes, but also by making their approach more personal when trying to net customers, calling on analytics and artificial intelligence to profile consumer types.

"We're trying to then start catering specific creative [campaigns] to people that might be interested more in fashion or in food or in architecture," Alexander Schlaubitz, head of marketing for Lufthansa, said.

"We can actually start discerning that from their behaviour. So we can then we can start playing out the type of content that doesn't just highlight a particular destination, but perhaps the things that that particular person could do within that destination."

What about personal data worries?

But with consumers increasingly aware of and concerned by the use of their personal data, companies such as Lufthansa stress that they take the issue of trust and safety seriously.

"What we do is on an [anonymous] level, we do the kind of things where we create twins of particular persona types," explained Schlaubitz.