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The making of new Expedia campaign – it’s more about self discovery

Full-service online travel agency Expedia’s latest campaign revolves around encouraging people to do something new in life and be pleasantly surprised when they are successfully able to accomplish the task. Themed around ‘What a pleasant surprise!’, the campaign has been conceptualised by Taproot Dentsu and produced by Chrome Pictures. Ace ad director Hemant Bhandari, Co-founder of Chrome Pictures, has directed the ad films. 

Manmeet Ahluwalia
Manmeet Ahluwalia
Elaborating on the campaign, Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head, Expedia in India, said, “The brief given to the agency was to showcase and address trepidation, hesitancy, and state of inertia that keeps consumers away from trying something new in life and the associated surprise, joy and contentment of that new experience.” 

He further added, “Our aim with this campaign is to encourage new users to visit and experience Expedia and generate awareness amongst the consumers about our Zero Booking fee on flights and free cancellation on hotels, in order to help the consumers save money and ensure a pleasant experience while managing their travel.” 

Titus Upputuru
Titus Upputuru
Commenting on the creative thought process, Titus Upputuru, Creative Head, Taproot Dentsu, Gurgaon, said, “Unless we try something we will never know. This is the key insight we developed into a campaign where the protagonists try out things that they’ve never tried before. As a result, they end up discovering experiences that they thoroughly enjoy! Not only that, once ‘bitten’ by the experience, the protagonists don’t want to stop. We hope new consumers try Expedia.co.in and find to their delight and surprise, exciting experiences!” 

“The catch phrase – ‘Jab tak try nahi karoge, Pata kaise chalega’ – had created a core interest for us to go ahead with the project. The idea was conceptualised by the ad agency, Taproot Dentsu, and that is something we believed we would be able to create an innovative visual which will give intent of delight to the viewers,” said Hemant Bhandari of Chrome Pictures. 

In the first ad, the director has tried to build a suspense gripping the viewers until the end of the film. The ad creatively focusses on the protagonists by using close-up camera angles. It is then revealed that they are in the middle of the sea and she is encouraging him to stand by the refreshing sea waves allowing him to face his fears. Soon the man starts enjoying it, highlighting the theme ‘Jab tak try nahi karoge, pata kaise chalega!’ The vast blue sky and rejuvenating sea resonate with the theme. It compels one to go on an exotic adventurous holiday! 

Watch the ad:

The second ad revolves around a man who is extremely reluctant to join his friends in the dance/ college reunion party. He gives it a try and eventually eases out, ultimately breaking into dancing crazily. The ad involved beautifully designed set and innovative attractive lighting. The entire ad was shot only in 90 minutes. 

Watch the ad:

Shedding more light on implementing the thoughts and executing the campaign, Bhandari stated, “Right from the beginning, implementing the primary motto of the campaign was the main challenge for us. We wanted to create an atmosphere both during the shoot and on film that would portray the theme of adventure in a very real way. And as per the script provided to us by Taproot Dentsu, we considered our options and tried to come up with the best possible outcome. We focused all our abilities on the catchphrase itself and we believe we have been able to come up with a solution that would appeal to the sense of adventure in our viewers.” 

Hemant Bhandari
Hemant Bhandari
Scouting for the right location was one of the challenges that the team had to face especially because this is a film for a travel portal. He added, “When we took up the project we did not realise that this would become a big challenge for the team. We scouted different places in India and abroad, to find an appropriate location. We wanted to shoot this film in the correct light. Which meant either we shoot for a couple of days in the same light or rehearse so much that finally when we get to shooting, everyone knows what to do and how to.” 

Bhandari feels that it was very different working on this particular project because it has a very unique flavour that tickles one of the most inherent aspects of the human nature – our awe of the unknown and the unexpected. Bringing that particular feeling out on film was perhaps the most difficult aspect of the entire project. “We wanted to present an idea that challenges the viewers to challenge themselves into going for what they believe to be impossible for them, and see for themselves in the process that anything is possible once a mind is firmly set on the idea,” he concluded.

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