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Helping tourists discover their Aloha through a digital marketing campaign


Aerial view of a Hawaiian island

Welcome to Waikiki

  • Category: Travel and Tourism Digital Marketing

The Hawaiian Islands are beautiful: an inspiring travel destination for anyone who loves surf, sun and culture. But even paradise needs to advertise sometimes. That’s why the Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) teamed up with Expedia Group Media to develop a digital marketing campaign that would help the islands remain competitive on the global stage and distinguish them from other tropical destinations.

Ground-breaking technology produced an immersive campaign that successfully reached key audiences.

Applying tech to tourism

Kin + Carta was called in to help and, before long, we’d conceived the idea for an innovative and immersive digital marketing campaign. One that connected with travellers, especially the millennial audience, in a highly personalised way. Our idea was to use a custom built facial recognition software experience that analysed physical reactions to compelling video content.

We called it ‘Discover Your Aloha’.

Mobile screenshot of personalised Hawaii vacation package

Face value

Everything was based around an eye-catching microsite which offered inspiring and engaging video content and amazing drone footage that captured the beauty and culture of Hawai’i.

Users were first asked to give access to their web camera. As the videos played, our software analysed facial reactions to the content, identifying which footage evoked the most positive reaction from the viewer.

Animal instincts

Using sentiment analysis, an algorithm identified the personal preferences of each viewer and paired them with their ‘Aloha’, represented by an animal guide of significance to Hawaiian culture.

Users were then prompted to book their own personalised Hawaii vacation package based on their custom itinerary. This was further encouraged by offering discounts of up to 50 percent, including exclusive offers from dozens of participating hotels.


Going global

The campaign ran in the U.S., Canada, Japan and Australia on Expedia,, Orbitz, Travelocity and Wotif sites. To further drive visitors and engagement with the content-rich microsite, targeted display ads were featured across the Expedia group’s leading travel brands.

Throughout the year-long campaign, the animal guides hosted takeovers of Expedia’s social channels. This included Instagram and Snapchat, to share new, seasonal and behind-the-scenes content that encouraged users to discover their Aloha.

Screenshots of Expedia on different devices

Saying Aloha

This innovative digital campaign worked wonderfully by engaging key target audiences and highlighting Hawaii’’s rich culture and beauty.

  • The microsite received nearly one million total views
  • Visitors were highly engaged, spending an average of two minutes interacting with the content
  • The bounce rate was less than one percent

Conversion results were highly impressive with a nearly 20 percent annual increase in passenger demand across Expedia sites. The campaign also produced a remarkable 115:1 return on ad spend. Lots of press coverage and several industry awards added the cherry on top.

<1% Bounce rate
20% increase in passenger demand
115:1 return on ad spend

Kin + Carta helped Expedia bring to life many great ideas and concepts that our travel clients love. They understand our business and what our partners are trying to achieve. They aren’t just an agency that we work with - they often feel like an extension to our team.

Angelique Miller - Director of Creative Partnerships, Expedia Group Media Solutions

How can we make it happen for you?

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