Booking Versus Expedia on TikTok



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Skift Take

Booking.com and Expedia know they have to get out there and market where their potential customers are. In this case, millions are on TikTok.

In one 5-second TikTok from Booking.com, a woman who planned a marriage proposal on an upcoming trip faints when she learns her partner has broken up with her.

In another, a huggable dog plays a pivotal role in planning a vacation.

Booking.com takes TikTok seriously: Those two posts together have attracted some 3.6 million views. And at the recent ITB Berlin travel trade show, a TikTok executive singled out Booking.com as “a very key customer.”

We took a closer look at how Booking.com uses TikTok for marketing, and compared its efforts on the platform to Expedia’s.

Booking Versus Expedia

Booking.com’s official TikTok account has 1.2 million followers and 9.3 million likes. But those are just two measures of engagement because some of Booking.com’s TikToks gained more than 2 million views on their own.

Expedia’s official TikTok account has 1.5 million followers and 6.3 million likes.

Both companies spend billions of dollars annually on marketing across different outlets, ranging from Google to outdoor billboards, and TikTok surely gets a relatively small share of the total spend.

Still, both companies know they need to be there to get in front of potential customers. As of January 2024, TikTok had nearly 150 million active users in the U.S., the platform’s largest market, with Indonesia a close second at 126 million, according to Statista.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday demanding that TikTok’s parent sell its U.S. business to a non-Chinese entity or face a ban. Senate approval is in question.

Both Booking Holdings and Expedia Group declined to discuss their TikTok strategies.

Of the two, Booking.com’s TikToks seem to be a bit more edgy and specifically crafted for TikTok. They might be just five seconds in duration.

Expedia’s TikToks seem a bit more conventional, but their vivid photography of picturesque mountains and compelling street scenes can be effective.

Following are three TikToks from Booking.com and three from Expedia with our Skift Takes.

Booking.com TikToks

1) “God bless free cancellation:” 1.6 million views

Skift Take: It’s pretty funny, and the message, delivered in five seconds, is crystal clear.

2) “Attaining Genius Level 3 is my favorite New Year’s resolution:” 1.2 million views

Skift Take: The message seems a little oblique for those unfamiliar with Booking.com’s loyalty program, but repeat bookings “again” build those rewards.

3) “My dog chooses my vacation:” 2 million views

Skift Take: Very cute with the cuddly dog whittling down all of those abundant vacation choices on Booking.com. Nice accompanying tune, “Give me the night,” and accents, such as labeling the woman “certified city girl” after the dog sniffs out a “city” vacation over a “country” one.

Expedia TikToks

1) “How to use your OneKey Cash:” 7.1 million views

Skift Take: Just another blatant commercial, with a generative AI-recommended zip-line off a 45-story skyscraper in Dubai thrown in. Focusing it on solo trips and using an influencer probably helped. Hey, you can’t argue with 7.1 million views.

2) “Destination Dupes:” Swap Paris for Antwerp:” 936,000 views

Skift Take: It’s simple and effective in nine seconds and aligns with Expedia that destination dupes are in vogue in 2024.

3) “An unexpected journey to Bosnia:” 2 million views

Skift Take: Picturesque, yet bland. Nothing catchy or memorable.



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