The latest iteration of Expedia's "Find Yours" campaign lets people turn their travel photos into multimedia videos complete with music and Google Earth flyovers. The Facebook app complements the greater campaign by 180LA, launched in the summer of 2012 with a TV spot and web movies.
Users answer prompts -- Where'd you go? What'd you find? -- and browse for pix that have been posted on Facebook or Instagram. They also personalize with choices of music and photo filters, click a button and get a short video they can post, tweet or email.
"Find Yours" was actually the pitch that 180LA used to win the Expedia account, according to Chris Neff, senior interactive producer for 180LA. "They were moving away from the comedic aspect. We presented to them that 'We can take you guys in an emotional way. Let's make it personal.'"
The first 30-second TV spot, Anthem, aired in the summer of 2012. It was followed by a series of longer-form videos on YouTube telling people's real-life travel stories. One of the most moving may be Find Your Strength, uploaded in December. In it, as a young cancer survivor prepares to travel to present at a St. Jude fundraiser, she reminisces about another cancer patient she bonded with during treatment, who didn't survive.
Getting traction for the web movies was easy, Neff said, thanks to Expedia's huge fan base. "If the content works, we'll get a million views on it. They are a dotcom, so they get that space really well."
The Find Yours Facebook app gives consumers some creative help for injecting emotion into their own travel photos. Because the Find Yours campaign is about making travel personal and showing how people connect to it, the 180LA creative team wanted to give people a way to showcase a trip they went on without the need to use movie editing software, Neff said. "There's a piece of advanced technology on the back end and an easy-to-use interface. It does a lot of cool things and works across platform. But if you just want to jump into it, you can go start to finish in a few minutes."
The app was built in HTML5 and makes use of the parallax scroll effect, which allows designers to create layers that can be scrolled independently from each other. In the Find Yours app, viewers can pause to linger on a specific photograph or backtrack to see one that went by too fast. Meanwhile, the music continues to play.
"We wanted an off-the-shelf way to allow people to get through it very quickly and create something they can share and enjoy with others," Neff said. "There's a quick sense of establishment, I went from here to here, setting a mood and a tone to give someone an extension of you."
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.