Can a smile determine what kind of Hawaiian vacation you’d like best? Expedia’s “Discover Your Aloha” campaign uses facial recognition software to do just that. A strategic partnership with the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) seeks to inspire vacation goers, particularly millennials, with this interactive frontline marketing by using their own emotional response to custom-tailor a vacation experience–at a discount, no less.
The “Discover Your Aloha” microsite features brightly-colored images and video footage largely captured by drones via the land, sea and sky. With the viewer’s permission, custom-built facial recognition software identifies which footage evokes the most positive reaction from the viewer. The algorithm identifies the personal preferences of each viewer and pairs them with their ‘Aloha’ represented by an animal guide of significance to Hawaiian culture: ‘Iwa (Bird) Hawaii’s all-knowing guide; He‘e (Octopus), Hawaii’s loving spirit; or Pua‘a (Pig), Hawaii’s bold adventurer. After all, a trip to Hawaii could be anything from lounging on the beach to hiking a live volcano, and would-be travelers may not know where to start. Personalizing each vacation offer recognizes that not all travelers are the same, and thus honoring the desires of each individual.
Envisioning your next vacation destination is going far beyond the brochure, thanks to the adoption of new technology by companies worldwide. Carnival Cruise Line employs virtual reality to bring the curious onboard and has even added video game elements to their ships to entertain younger guests. Hilton Hotels uses interactive, 360-degree videos to encourage exploration of various destinations. “Virtual reality technology is here to stay and we will continue leveraging this exciting capability to create new experiences for travelers from the moment they begin thinking about their trip to when they’re ready to book that dream vacation,” Stuart Foster, Hilton Worldwide’s vice president of global marketing, told [a]listdaily.
With its “Discover Your Aloha” campaign, Expedia wants to connect with its audience on an emotional level. “By integrating the facial recognition technology to identify the content and guide that resonates most positively with the viewer, the experience and perception of the Hawaiian Islands as a travel destination can be even more personal and inspiring for the viewer,” Noah Tratt, Global senior vice president of Expedia wrote. “It’s not just about being innovative, but it’s using innovation in a strategic way to achieve the right results.”
The campaign will run in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand on Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity and Wotif sites throughout the year.