Travo Summit 2016: Play on customers’ emotions with humanised tech

Travel marketing campaigns that appeal to customers’ emotions are poised to become more mainstream, this week’s Travolution Summit was told.

Tracey Follows, chief strategy and innovation officer at The Future Laboratory opened this year’s summit with a session exploring the emerging ‘emotional economy’.

“We are seeing the signals of a much more humanised technology,” she said. “It’s not just about behaviour anymore, we are starting to see mind and body working together now.”

Follows said the rise of new industries, such as Wet Sounds – an underwater sound art installation and performance – shows how technology is being used to address the six main human emotions of happiness, anger, fear, sadness, disgust, and surprise.

“There are 15 states that combine those six basic emotions,” she said. “So you might be sadly angry or fearfully surprised.

“Nobody is happy all the time, or wants to be happy all the time. What we are seeing now is that brands are being much more realistic.”

The important thing for the travel industry, Follows added, was to be ahead of the curve and using innovative adverts that play on the emotions before everyone else follows the early adopters.

Follows said those early adopters are perhaps in other sectors, such as the Department Store for the Mind which allows shoppers to browse by collection or mood.

However the travel industry is showing signs of keeping up with this trend, according to Follows.

Expedia is behind a new marketing campaign for Hawai’i which is using facial recognition software to help create tailor-made packages for customers.

“I think, in the next five years, we are going to see more of these adverts in the mainstream,” Follows added. “We are moving into an era which is much more evoking.”

Follows used an advert by Klarna promoting easy payment transactions which depicts a fish sliding across a laminate floor as an example if a firm using melancholy to reach their consumers

Some travel firms are following suit with Thomas Cook’s ‘Be More Shark’ advertising campaign cited as an example of an operator appealing to holidaymakers’ emotions.

“Travel and holidays are completely about emotions,” said Follows. “This industry has to work on a theme and ways to restructure it and there’s always scope for experimentation.”

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