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Travelocity takes ‘Roaming Gnome’ to slopes, shores in social media push

Travelocity is rolling out an integrated campaign to promote its winter travel sale. The effort is taking the “Roaming Gnome” character, known to consumers from previous ads, on tour again.

Called “Cabin Fever: Finding the Cure,” the initiative promotes winter getaway deals on Travelocity, including ski and beach destinations. The creative calls consumers to interact with the gnome by voting on his three winter trips on Travelocity social networking pages, and to share photos of themselves on their own winter trips. The campaign incorporates social media, search, display, e-mail and TV.

TV ads debuted January 7. The effort’s digital components launch January 12.

“It is really focused on getting consumers to go out and travel,” said Victoria Treyger, CMO of Travelocity North America. “Using the gnome is a fun way to get them inspired and to interact with our brand. It all ties into a big sale; it is all about encouraging consumers to get out and take their ski or beach vacations.”

During the six-week campaign, the roaming gnome will make three trips to destination hotels offering sales on Travelocity. Consumers will be called to vote on each destination via Facebook and Twitter pages. Voting on the Travelocity Facebook fan page will last nine days, and the winning resort will be revealed the day that voting ends. Immediately following the closure of each contest, the gnome will travel to the winning destination, posting photos and Tweeting along the way.

Each day of the initiative, fans can enter to win a trip for two to Vail, CO. In addition, the gnome will pick a “Fan of the Week” photo to be Travelocity’s Facebook profile picture.

Travelocity will promote the sale through e-mail, search and display. Its goal is to acquire new customers and to retain existing ones, said Treyger.

The initiative marks Travelocity’s second campaign using social media. The first, which look place last summer, was called “Summer of Possibilities,” and was the first time the brand used Facebook, Twitter and the gnome character.

“We had such great results this past summer, and we really wanted to continue to leverage the social channel again,” added Treyger.  

Travelocity was aided by McKinney in producing the effort.

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