MMGY PR saw an opportunity to profile Travel Guard and the need/benefit of travel insurance by asking the public to share their personal travel “nightmares” in a highly engaging and lighthearted social media campaign to find the “World’s Unluckiest Traveler” (WUT).
To launch the campaign and contest, MMGY initiated an intensive power-pitching campaign focusing on top-tier print, online and broadcast outlets, as well as relevant blogs. Monthly finalists were chosen by popular online vote, and entrants were encouraged to share their stories through social networks, ultimately increasing traffic to TravelGuard.com, introducing the product to new audiences and intensifying social buzz about travel insurance and assistance.
Following the initial burst of major coverage, each month the agency shared news of the latest finalist and pitched the most compelling and outlandish stories in order to illustrate the depth and breadth of unexpected situations that travelers can encounter. In addition to pitching these stories to media with a national reach, the agency honed in on finalists in key target markets, pitching and placing stories in local media outlets.
To further build online chatter about the campaign, the agency teamed up with Kim Orlando, founder of the Traveling Mom blogger network, to sponsor two of the group’s #TMOM Twitter parties. Through these real-time chats, Travel Guard was able to guide the conversation of 246 family travel media, influential mommy bloggers and consumers, introducing them to the campaign and sharing key Travel Guard message points.
To announce the grand prize winner, the agency designed a highly engaging media event to attract today’s time-deprived media, while also capturing the lighthearted spirit of the WUT campaign. The event, set in a Manhattan comedy club, featured a travel-themed improv comedy show starring travel industry journalist Harvey Chipkin.
Nearly 1,000 contest entries were received, and more than 10,000 people registered to vote. Through the duration of the campaign, 461 posts in social media referenced the “World’s Unluckiest Traveler” contest. More than 8 million impressions were generated during the #TMOM Twitter party. The campaign helped Travel Guard gain 780 new Facebook fans and 634 new Twitter followers.
MMGY PR, using only earned media, far surpassed Travel Guard’s goal of increasing web traffic by 100,000 unique visitors over the duration of the campaign, ultimately gaining an additional 222,160 unique visitors. The campaign was also successful in achieving the set goals of increasing TravelGuard.com direct conversation rates by 0.1% and increasing the number of polices sold through the website by 5%.
Media outreach surrounding the campaign resulted in 64,212,412 media impressions in outlets including CBS’ The Early Show, USAToday.com, ABCNews.com, New York Daily News, The Globe Mail, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Travel Agent, Agent At Home, ABC News Now and Reuters, just to name a few. Wire releases accounted for more than 475 million additional impressions.