Tripadvisor pushes beyond banner ads with data-driven content studio

    • Tripadvisor has a new in-house creative and content studio that uses the travel platform’s first-party data to help marketers craft more relevant campaigns, the company said in a release. 
    • Wanderlab operates out of the SoHo neighborhood of New York City and is overseen by Tripadvisor Media’s General Manager Christine Maguire. The shop focuses on “cutting-edge marketing solutions” to help brands engage high-intent travel audiences on and off of Tripadvisor properties.
    • San Diego Tourism Authority is the first client with a $1.5 million partnership promoting the city’s optimism and positivity. Media elements include online content and out-of-home placements like interactive murals that are appearing in several markets around the U.S. 

    Traipadvisor said it has wanted to expand its media business beyond banner and box advertising since before the pandemic, with Wanderlab the result of that years long ambition. The rollout comes as the travel category experiences a strong rebound in activity and as more platforms eye their first-party data stores as a means of pitching marketing services to brands.

    Wanderlab is positioned as a premium, bespoke solution targeted at high-spending travel shoppers, though Tripadvisor is also courting non-endemic advertisers. Tripadvisor’s mobile and web properties are used by hundreds of millions of people monthly to find flights, hotels, restaurants and nearby activities for their trips, indicating the types of marketers Wanderlab might want to win over.  

    Along with the San Diego Tourism deal, the studio has released its first short creative work, which portrays travel through a Gen Z lens. Filmmaker Andrew Stephan produced “Lost & Found,” wherein interview subjects talk about how the pandemic made them realize they were taking travel opportunities for granted.  

    The in-house shop plans to offer a variety of media functions, including crafting sponsored brand and editorial content that will run on Tripadvisor, influencer marketing, social media campaigns, interactive video and voice-related experiences. Its launch comes as other travel companies stand up advertising divisions and media networks that use data-driven insights as a selling point.

    Marriott International in May debuted the Marriott Media Network, an ad platform that relies on information derived from the more than 164 million members of the hospitality giant’s Bonvoy loyalty program. More in-house agencies and studios are also welcoming external clients to generate revenue. Insurance marketer Liberty Mutual’s in-house arm, called Copper Giants, started taking on outside work earlier this year, with Harpoon Brewery its first contract.


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