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How to Drive Spring Break Success with Advanced TV Advertising

By Brett Sanderson, Sr. Director, Product Marketing, Cadent and Stanley Lin, Director, Marketing, ShareThis

Travel has felt uncertain since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Through 2022, ever-changing travel restrictions, the emergence of several COVID variants, and overwhelmed airports have threatened to ruin countless trips for travelers in the U.S. and abroad. As a result, years of pent-up demand are driving a spike in national and international “spring break” travel with consumers booking flights, lodgings, and tourist activities at a record-breaking pace. In fact, according to Virtuoso, a global luxury travel network, travel sales in 2023 are pacing 47 percent higher than 2019.

As we approach the spring travel season, Cadent partnered with ShareThis to round up the best data-driven marketing strategies for travel and tourism advertisers. 

Preparing for 2023 Travel and Beyond

Audience fragmentation continues to pose a challenge for advertisers. Consumers are increasingly shifting their attention to streaming CTV and OTT apps, while still watching linear programming. As some consumers “cut the cord,” cable and broadcast remain more than half of the Total Usage of Television according to Nielsen’s The Gauge. However, in 2022, a whopping 92% of U.S. households were reachable by CTV programmatic advertising, while the number of CTV users amounted to more than 110 million among Gen Z and Millennials

To reach their strategic target audience, advertisers need to activate their brand message across all TV media, including cable, broadcast, indexed TV, addressable STB, and OTT/CTV including FASTs. By engaging the right consumers at the right time, advertisers can drive key performance metrics such as brand awareness and sales lift and quantify their return on investment in terms of business outcomes. 

Cadent Aperture Platform was purpose-built to help advertisers seeking an end-to-end, cross-screen solution by enabling seamless audience activation across all TV media types and providing a holistic view of reporting and measurement. Aperture allows advertisers to securely onboard their first-party data then enrich that audience with trusted third-party data. By leveraging strategic audience segments from third-party data partners like ShareThis, travel advertisers can boost the performance of their CTV campaigns. 

Attract New Travelers with Behavioral Audiences on CTV

The best way to introduce new brands to travel consumers at scale is by creating brand awareness campaigns distributed on CTV. But to do this well, advertisers need to use all the information they can get about their target audience, such as: what they are interested in, how to position an offer, and the best time to make a connection across CTV channels. Unfortunately, most advertisers don’t have data on the behaviors and interests of their target audience.  But don’t worry, you can get the insights you need to win big for the upcoming travel season.

ShareThis gathers real-time interest and intent data from travelers’ online activity as they search for vacation ideas and begin to plan their trips. This is the best data to tie into CTV so that campaigns can hit their mark. For example, ShareThis has a spring break travel insights report covering January – March 2022 that revealed that U.S. Spring Breakers in 2022 were:

  • Focused predominantly on US trips
  • Searching for cost-effective travel options
  • Looking to do community service on their trip

A study from PhocusWire and Google revealed that 93% of those surveyed will take at least one leisure trip over the next 12 months — the highest percentage since the start of the pandemic. But when is the best time to engage consumers with travel offers? An interesting finding from ShareThis data over the past few years is that the highest week for online traffic for people researching Spring Break online is consistently the third week of October, which falls around midterm season for colleges. This could indicate an optimal opportunity for brands to get in front of college students during peak testing periods.

Beyond trends, online behavioral data can be matched up with target audiences to get very specific on the best CTV channels to reach them and the best messaging to engage travelers. Third-party insights are critical to fine-tuning messaging, special offers, and target audiences to engage new travelers and maximize return on advertising. And seeking out this type of data can make a big difference in the success of advertising campaigns this season.

Next Steps for Travel & Tourism Advertisers 

With the rapidly changing economy and our rapidly changing thinking around travel, what will travelers be looking for this year? It is critical to utilize third-party insights to be able to shape the targets and messaging of advertising efforts. This is especially true where video advertising for CTV is involved.

Ready to activate data-driven TV for your spring travel campaigns?