The travel industry is home to some of the most fun, adventurous, and wildly creative marketing around. There’s Captain Obvious of Hotels.com, the “Wanna get away?” commercials by Southwest Airlines, and, of course, the momentous #WeAccept advertisement that Airbnb aired during Super Bowl LI.
This ethos of being fun and adventurous is commonplace in the travel industry because that’s what going on a vacation is all about. And what’s even more exciting about the industry is that some brands are taking their creativity to the next level by crafting original video series.
We’ve rounded up five of the best travel video series to help your creativity take flight. Let’s go!
Driving Out Loud is a docuseries about two best friends from the UK road-tripping through New England on a single tank of gas. As the duo traverses the Northeast, viewers follow along for all the action! The trip includes a visit to the Boston Tea Party Museum, playing tennis at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Rhode Island, experiencing fall foliage in New Hampshire, and catching fresh lobster in Maine.
In typical Hotels.com fashion, Driving Out Loud leans on humor to connect with its audience. The hosts are hilarious, constantly cracking jokes and engaging in loads of witty banter that’ll keep you laughing through the entire series.
If your hosts have a good sense of humor, take a page from Hotels.com: Make sure they can show it off! Do this by letting your hosts go off the cuff and let them engage in as many organic conversations as they can with each other.
Serving as a virtual tour guide, Vacation Travel Guides shows viewers everything they need to know about each destination and explores top attractions within each locale.
At its core, Vacation Travel Guides solidifies the oldest trick in the content marketing book: Be as helpful as you can, and you’ll win the hearts of your audience.
“At its core, Vacation Travel Guides solidifies the oldest trick in the content marketing book: Be as helpful as you can, and you’ll win the hearts of your audience.”
In a partnership with LA Times Studio, Southwest Airlines released Journey to Sundance, a three-part docuseries about Bridget Moloney’s trip to the Sundance Festival. She’s a filmmaker whose short film Blocks was accepted into the iconic film festival in 2019.
Blocks is an existential comedy about the mother of two young children who begins to spontaneously vomit plastic toy blocks, which, according to Moloney, reflects her personal struggles as a parent. Throughout the video series, you’ll learn about how her life as a parent inspired her short film and experience her career-changing weekend at Sundance.
Journey to Sundance not only explores the euphoric highs of getting into Sundance and attending the festival, but it also delves into the sentimental basis behind Moloney’s film. This allows viewers to connect with her character and grasp why her emotional trip to Sundance was just as important as her physical one.
When creating your video series, consider doing more than just documenting the events your characters are going through. Follow Southwest’s lead and document their emotional journey, too.
Two Bellmen is a three-installation short film franchise that tells the story of a pair of bellmen who save the day by fighting off art thieves, recovering an incredibly important USB drive, and salvaging a wedding.
It’s an action-comedy franchise that is chock-full of parkour, martial arts, extreme sports, dance, music, and bellman competitions, which is bound to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. Each film also takes place in a different city — Los Angeles, Dubai, and Seoul — giving audiences new landscapes and cityscapes to explore. Additionally, JW Marriott hired legitimate Hollywood actors and actresses to bring their characters to life.
Don’t be afraid to venture into narrative fiction, as JW Marriott did. Most brands have only dipped their toes into narrative nonfiction, such as docuseries, so there’s virtually no competition in this space. Outside of the box ideas are a great way to differentiate your brand, especially since binge-worthy content is picking up steam in the marketing world.
“Don’t be afraid to venture into narrative fiction. Most brands have only dipped their toes into narrative nonfiction, so there’s virtually no competition in this space.”
In collaboration with Thrillist, Carnival Cruise Lines released Island Hoppers, a seven-part video series about three up-and-coming comedians competing for a rookie spot at Carnival’s Punchliner Comedy Club. Competing in comedic challenges on a Carnival cruise ship, the contestants are scored by three established Carnival comedians. 90s teen heartthrob, James Van Der Beek, hosts the show and bridges the gap between the audience and contestants.
Each episode of Island Hoppers features a fun, creative challenge that puts the comedians in quirky situations that test their stand-up chops. These challenges include telling jokes while zip-lining, commentating as their opponents do a 150-foot-high ropes course, and performing a rap after eating habañero salsa. They also keep a tally of each comedian’s points so you can keep track of who’s winning.
Competitions are fun and engaging, especially when the stakes are high. Creating a video series like this will make your audience more likely to watch the show all the way through. Having a charismatic host can help, too.
When you think of large companies, words like “fun” and “adventurous” don’t usually spring to mind. But the brands mentioned above were able to build fun and adventurous brands because they realized that selling vacation-related services requires that same level of energy. Maybe every brand should adopt this mentality — regardless of whether they’re selling B2B software or a week-long cruise.