Travel Trends – KLM on Twitter, Mobile Coupons, Ikea Heights

KLM on Twitter – Earlier today we noticed a quiet, yet intriguing post from the social team at KLM:

Make new friends on board by tweeting a hashtag with your flight details and searching that tag #mmddKLxxx e.g. #0204KL641

And while we don’t have much more to go on than the tweet itself, we quickly imagined an entire campaign built around this simple idea.  Let’s face it, the majority of travel brands have been unable to find their proper or popular niche within the social space.  Facebook, Twitter, etc, etc.  We have tried them all, but very few have stumbled upon a campaign that uses social media to effectively a) generate revenue, b) generate PR or c) generate brand advocacy.  But this simple tweet from @KLM has potential.

Using the unofficial rules of Twitter, KLM is simply leveraging the existing system (hashtags) to create tweets (messages) about KLM among its followers (passengers) while at the same time creating an interesting game of discovery during the flight.  Add in-flight internet access and this idea moves beyond the gate area into a full-fledged find the other passenger game at 35,000 feet.

At first blush, the idea takes the sense of community from Twitter, applies the KLM brand as a common interest and potentially creates hundreds of air-side tweet-ups between passengers. This writer can think of several dotcom creations that have started with the same goal…and spent a lot more development money.

Fun, creative and community based…all of which sound like great brand attributes to us.

Consumers Slow to Take Advantage of Mobile Coupons – Mobile coupons are a natural extension for any travel brand, but especially of interest for CVBs and DMOs.  Unfortunately new stats show that while the technology is ready to make mobile coupons a reality, the consumer is a bit further behind in the adoption process.

Coupon usage was up in 2009 overall, and mobile coupon redemption is poised to explode over the next few years. But mobile couponing is still in the early stages of adoption, as indicated in a Honeywell survey conducted by Harris Interactive in December 2009.

IKEA Heights Goes Viral without IKEA – Regardless of convention, meeting or coffee break, everyone loves to talk about creating ‘viral’ videos for their travel product.  Ad agencies have ideas and opinions, your boss was crazy about the video of the baby on YouTube (we are not sure which one, there are a lot of them) and all of your peers keep talking about how they are creating a ‘viral’ campaign for their airline, resort or CVB.

You should all know by now…especially if you are a regular on the Travel 2.0 blog…that the words ‘viral’ (ugh, which we hate to begin with) and ‘create’ don’t usually equal ‘success.’

For example take one of the numerous ‘internet sensations’ online right now, IKEA Heights.  Built around the quasi-tourist destination of an IKEA store, add a few actors, a melodramatic script, confused shoppers as well as unaware IKEA management and you have a ‘viral’ video series actually worth watching.

Clever, authentic and entertaining = online video success.


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