Toto, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore: Why Advertisers are Taking the Road Less Traveled
by Melissa Yap
3 Min Read
People want to experience the world – and supply chain issues are their opportunity
3 Min Read
“Nothing ever becomes real until it’s experienced.”
– John Keats
Despite what it may seem, the last several years have seen an interesting rise in consumer behavior – the increasing interest in travel and experiences over products. Once thought of as just a Millennial trait, more and more people across the generational, cultural, gender, and racial spectrum reported getting more happiness out of travel and experiences – and then a once-in-a-century global pandemic hit.
Now that the fog is starting to lift, consumers are re-entering a world eager for new experiences, sick of ordering physical items off Amazon, and unable to buy tangible holiday gifts thanks to a global supply chain crisis.
Travel and experience brands – now’s your time to shine.
Choosing experiences over products has been steadily increasing for years. A 2019 study found that an overwhelming majority of consumers of all ages – 76% — would rather spend their money on unique experiences, traveling to new locations, or furthering their education over tangible things. An Expedia and Center for Generational Kinetics survey determined that today’s Baby Boomers are entering a “less is more” stage, while younger generations are placing a newfound value on experiences over things – and 57% of all Americans are planning more by saving for travel.
These behaviors started to take shape before the pandemic and were signaling a tremendous shift in consumer sentiment – and they’re only stronger post-pandemic. A research team paper published in the 2020 Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that spending on experiences versus possessions creates more immediate happiness. It’s not hard to imagine why, and it’s also not hard to see how it may spark even more happiness after a year of being denied access. Consumers are valuing life experiences over material goods – and they’re more eager than ever to make up for lost time.
Much has been made of this year’s supply chain crisis, and for good reason. While this holiday is a lot brighter than last year’s, the nation is still combating an ongoing pandemic, retailer inventory is being depleted, the cost of goods is rising, and products are taking longer than ever to assemble and ship. It’s not the holiday season retailers imagined after last year’s decreased foot traffic and lockdowns (though there are plenty of reasons for them not to worry) – and it’s not what most shoppers hoped for either, with 52% buying presents as early as October to bypass supply chain issues.
So, to recap: we have a market that’s making products hard to find, shoppers who are frustrated they can’t find items in stores, and gift recipients who’d say they prefer experiences over products anyway. See where we’re going with this? There has never been a time where consumers are more starved for travel and experience, needing to make purchases in the form of gifts, and unable to spend their money elsewhere. Many will give the gift of travel, classes, or adventures. For gift recipients, it’s a breath of fresh air after a year of online orders. And for advertisers, it’s a uniquely lucrative opportunity that will stay white-hot through the holidays and beyond.
So you’re a travel and experience brand, looking to advertise to this eager audience. What’s the best way to reach them? By using the same device they relied on (and likely upgraded) through the pandemic – their smart TV. And that’s where MNTN Performance TV comes in.
Performance TV delivers the powerful storytelling of linear TV ads with the laser-precision targeting and real-time feedback of digital marketing — all served on premium channels and on the biggest screen in the house. As a result, travel and experience brands can showcase breathtakingly beautiful vistas and exciting experiences to users based on their interests, shopping history, geographic location, and more. It’s about serving the right ad, to the right audience, at the right time – and making a memorable experience.