Brand USA Fortifies Appeal of U.S. Travel in ‘Down-under’ Market
Sixty travel agents from Australia and New Zealand will soon head to the United States for a music-themed Brand USA MegaFam, called “Backstage USA,” Aug. 16-23. Brand USA is partnering with New Zealand Air to stage this yearly MegaFam for travel professionals from “down under.”
After arriving in the United States, the 60 agents (30 from Australia and 30 from New Zealand) will be split into six groups. Each group will follow its own U.S. itinerary for the first five nights. The itineraries showcase the diversity and richness of U.S. culture through the association of featured destinations with the heritage of American music. Brand USA launched this emphasis on music and culture with the release this year of its second major giant-screen film, “America’s Musical Journey.”
All of the agents will then convene in Las Vegas for the final two nights of the MegaFam, where they will share impressions of their individual group trips and take in the sights of this vibrant, 24-hour resort city in the Nevada desert.
As a prelude to the August MegaFam, Brand USA and Air New Zealand teamed up to host an entertaining roadshow that went across Australia to encourage agents to compete for spots on the MegaFam. The roadshow also presented training for agents, to familiarize them with the wide spectrum of travel opportunities that await in the USA. This included previews of the destinations along the six itineraries that will make up this MegaFam.
In total, more than 300 agents participated, gathering in the five cities along the route of the roadshow: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth. Each stop featured American-themed food and drink, live music quizzes and prizes.
Here are several other promotional efforts that Brand USA has used in Australia and New Zealand:
Alliance with Flight Center
Brand USA recently aligned with Flight Center Australia to run a campaign that encouraged bookings to the United States, while also promoting travel beyond the traditional U.S. gateway cities.
The campaign featured digital advertising, native content, direct marketing and point-of-sale marketing. Messaging for each of the mediums emphasized the diverse experiences that await travellers to the USA.
The subjects of feature articles included prominent musicians (such as Macklemore and Kanye West) who had humble beginnings, cities that inspired major hit songs and suggestions for lesser known U.S. locations. This range of topics underscored travel opportunities beyond typical destinations.
In addition to Flight Center, Qantas, Disney Destinations and Royal Caribbean International partnered with Brand USA for the campaign.
Nominations for media awards
New Zealand Media and Entertainment and Brand USA New Zealand are finalists for the Best Digital Advertisement and Best Integrated Campaign categories at the upcoming News Media Awards event in Sydney, Australia, on Sept. 14.
The two nominations are in recognition of a recent consumer campaign, “This is Where USA.” NZME and Brand USA aligned with Helloworld New Zealand, as the exclusive retail-brand partner for the promotion.
Along with messaging that used print, radio and online outlets, the campaign included an online competition that enabled consumers to learn about the links between various U.S. destinations and pop culture. Entrants were eligible to win a drawing for a $10,000 travel voucher to experience, first-hand, the USA.
Messaging with TTC brands
Brand USA recently aligned with The Travel Corporation (TTC) and Air New Zealand for a consumer campaign that promoted travel to the United States, while encouraging travel agents to book those trips through TTC.
Using key TTC brands, the campaign ran in May, featuring the message: “Discover the Best of the USA.” It also presented travel destinations and experiences that are beyond the traditional gateway cities. And, the best way to access those itineraries is through a TTC guided trip.
“We were delighted to be able to partner with Brand USA and Air New Zealand this past May to promote our selection of Contiki, Trafalgar, and Luxury Gold trips throughout the United States,” said Tom Laskey, director of marketing and communications at TTC. “We look forward to working with the Brand USA team again.”