Expedia launches PassportAds to target in-market travelers online

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Expedia Media Solutions, the ad sales division of online travel company Expedia, has launched a new behavioral targeting product, PassportAds, which anonymously identifies in-market travelers through their search behavior. The announcement was made Thursday at the OMMA Behavioral conference in New York.

For example, when a user searches for hotels in Las Vegas on Expedia.com or one of its partner sites Hotels.com or Hotwire.com, Expedia can serve that user an ad from one of their Vegas hotel supplier partners on sites across the Web.

“Being able to match consumer behavior and intent with relevancy and recency is very powerful,” said Doug Miller, VP of global media solutions for Expedia.

The company works with numerous ad networks and with some publishers directly to re-target consumers, but only uses its own first-party cookie data, Miller said. PassportsAds are a combination of geo- and behavioral targeting, Miller said, and advertisers can reach consumers based on demographic, lifestyle and location.

Miller stressed the importance of targeting consumers throughout the purchase intent cycle, not only when users are searching on a travel site. “If a brand wants to stand out in a brick-and-mortar store, they can get an end-aisle display,” Miller said, “but we're able to extend brands' offers beyond the ‘store,' which is something that brick-and-mortar stores can't possibly do.”

He explained that if someone is planning a European vacation, the consideration cycle could be four to six weeks, but now brands can continue to speak to those consumers throughout that entire period.

PassportAds is an extension of Expedia's bid-for-placement product, TravelAds, which was released last year. TravelAds allows hotel partners to bid for ad placement within search results delivered on Expedia.com and Hotels.com.

Expedia's network of sites reaches 23.3 million monthly unique users.

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