Sunday, June 01, 2008

Travel brands on YouTube - mixed results

Listen to anyone from the Googleplex these days at an event and they talk endlessly about the benefits to travel brands of using YouTube for branding.

A campaign extolling the virtues of New Zealand is typically the example given - and deservedly so.

The Pure New Zealand page has had over 90,000 views. One particular video has been seen nearly 1 million times!

The organisation has uploaded 40 videos to its channel, with the top 5 all attracting over 15,000 views.

But how have some other major travel brands fared since giving some time and effort to creating a presence on YouTube?

Expedia UK has its own channel page and has uploaded a huge number of videos (103 videos) in just a few months, but its top-performer - the too-good-to-be-true hotels signs effort we featured a few months back - has attracted just 2,100 views.

STA Travel UK also created its own page in August 2007, but has just two videos on show. The TribeUnwanted video has 1,100 views so far.

Biggles The Bear, the YouTube nom de plume for Cheapflights, has faired much better. The channel page has attracted nearly 3,000 views, but its most popular video - Where The Hell is Biggles?, a pastiche of the infamous Where The Hell is Matt? montage - has been watched nearly 29,000 times.

Anyway, all this playing around on YouTube has revealed Travolution's skydiving extravaganza (and, no, for the last time, it isn't me in the video) has been viewed more times than 101 of Expedia's efforts.

And here it is again...!

Our sister title, Travel Weekly, has a ship tour video of the Norwegian Gem, which has an impressive 6,300 views against. Three times as many as Expedia's best performer.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution


William Bakker said...

New Zealand ran a US$320,000 campaign with YouTube. Part of this was a 24h featured video on the homepage of YouTube.

If the 1M visitors were an exclusive result of the YouTube campaign, that's about 30ct/view (excl. production costs).

Richard Hartigan said...

I posted my thoughts about advertising on YouTube last year.

That isn't to say that I wouldn't change my mind if the prices came down better & tracking was put in place for advertisers to monitor return on investment.

BBC and SKY have both dabbled with YouTube channels in the past before diverting resource into developing their own media players. This clearly makes sense from a content owners point of view.

The biggest threat to YouTube is the fact that it does not own any content. There have already been a number of legal battles in the states over the publishing of content owned by media networks.

In order to prohibit unauthorised content, Google must invest significant resource into monitoring the videos that users upload. Perhaps that's what the trademark team do now!

Travolution Blogger said...

William and Richard: thanks for comments.

so what you are both saying is that it is expensive and risky?

richard: i'm sure the trademark team at google have got plenty to contend with at the moment. :-)

William Bakker said...

are you saying that it is expensive and risky?

Well, the risk is now somewhat measurable because there is a benchmark now with the NZ campaign.

As far as being expensive; it depends what this kind of "brand impression" is worth. You can compare the cost to a TV impression.

The added benefit with YouTube over TV is the engagement factor. People chose to watch, can comment, favor, subscribe and embed.

Jennifer Cox, Essential Travel said...

And all this happens on the day the new Zealand tourism industry annouces the biggest downturn since 9/11.

As credit crunch mania bites, is the Youtube audience going to be actual or just armchair travellers?

Youtube - longtail or so long tail?