Although artificial intelligence (AI) has been a hot topic in discussions lately, in 2023, it went beyond being a talking point and became a seamless part of travel advertising. Generative AI secured first place as the most critical consumer trend in Media Ocean’s 2023 Mid-Year Advertising Outlook Report, conducted among more than 700 marketers. By 2024, marketers expect AI to handle more than just standard interactions. In their vision, it will decipher intricate client briefs, offer real-time campaign insights, and effectively sift through massive amounts of unstructured data.
AI isn’t simply causing a stir in the creative industry—it’s revolutionising the field. One of the best examples of how AI improves the creative process is Bing’s Image Creator from Designer. Then, you have countless AI tools capable of generating texts, music, video, podcasts, etc.
AI is poised to become more deeply involved in travel advertising in the future, influencing dynamic audience targeting, tailored content, and predictive analytics. Let’s change our focus to other less obvious but less significant creative trends for 2024.
Trend 1: A Return to Emotion and Humor
We see a strong comeback of humour and emotion in advertising in 2024. Oracle reports that 91% of consumers favour companies with a lighthearted element, but 95% of company executives are reluctant to use humour when interacting with customers.
The use of comedy in advertising has steadily declined over the past 20 years, and the COVID-19 epidemic has hastened this drop. Why does this occur? Does the world we live in get more serious? No. No matter what is going on, there is, and always has been, humour in the world.
What’s changed is a greater apprehension about inappropriate humour usage. It’s a good idea to exercise caution while using humour in a continuously changing world where appropriateness levels fluctuate. It is imperative that it be acceptable for the media context in addition to being pertinent to your intended audience. Using humour to personalise your brand and foster affinity is a terrific idea.
2024 presents a lot of obstacles, including global turmoil and a highly charged media landscape. As a result, brands need to let go of their fear and embrace humour. The sombre tone of recent advertising must give way to the realities of the modern world. Tender and heartfelt ads are what viewers long for during these unsettling times. In addition to standing out, hospitality brands that can infuse their messaging with kindness, brightness, and humour will also cultivate stronger connections and trust with their guests.
Trend #2: A Need for Human-generated Content
Have you ever depended on Generative AI tools and questioned how you got by without them? You are not alone, though. Artificial intelligence has become ubiquitous, affecting our jobs and ways of life. Imagine this swift integration into the creative environment, where AI becomes a transformative force rather than only a supporting actor.
A crucial trend is emerging as we move into the AI-driven era, where it is becoming harder to distinguish between human and machine-generated content in all its forms. And yet, customers demand authenticity and a genuine personal touch from brands amid abundant fake content. What are the hottest terms in 2024? Ethical use of AI. Brands must exhibit a more responsible and balanced attitude towards using Generative AI in advertising in 2024:
- The implications of generative AI in the last year have emphasised the need for organisations to create reliable and moral guidelines for developing technologies.
- Hoteliers should create and implement specialised ethical standards for every AI ad they broadcast or publish.
- When adopting AI tools, hospitality advertisers should proactively incorporate moral and reliable values into a collaborative, team-based development process.
- Travel advertisers must make a concerted effort to work with other companies, governmental bodies, and prominent sector members to follow consistent, morally sound regulations for newly developed technologies.
- Travel brands that create and sincerely embrace moral and ethical standards stand to gain from lessening financial and reputational harm and boosting employee and stakeholder trust.
Trend #3: Capitalising on Pop Culture
If you look closely at the cultural zeitgeist, advertisers have many opportunities. For example, certain television programs provide equal emphasis on the setting and the primary characters, and fans are happy to travel to the actual locations that the fictitious characters have visited to have a stronger connection with them. Visit Albuquerque makes good use of its reputation as the filming site for Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad. Fans of television shows such as Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, and Outlander frequently travel to England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland from all over the world.
When you read a book, your imagination may sometimes conjure up pictures that are even more potent than those that TV and film directors force upon you. To entice readers who are fervent about those novels, travel and tour operators, as well as websites, have created carefully planned travel itineraries that draw inspiration from a variety of books, including Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, and Cheryl Strayed’s Wild.
There are, of course, also multi-day festivals that take visitors to the hub of pop culture. Every year, a large number of tourists arrive at destinations on the dates of the well-known SXSW, Coachella, Burning Man, and other arts and music festivals.
What is the obsession with using moments from popular culture in travel advertisements? The efficacy and potential it possesses provide the solution. Campaigns can be linked to ongoing cultural discussions to increase brand awareness and capitalise on the fervour and involvement that customers inherently bring to these occasions. It’s a tactic that transcends conventional advertising and becomes an engaging conversation with the viewer. Anticipate hospitality brands to continue utilising cultural touchpoints in 2024.
Trend #4: The Creative Reign of Nostalgia
Imagine being pulled into the warm embrace of a song you know well or a bygone era. Is it something your spirit senses? That is nostalgia’s enchanted power. Its comeback is more than a passing fad; it’s a creative force that won’t disappear.
In 2024, how can marketers use its enchantment to capture consumers’ attention? The explanation is found in nostalgia’s timeless quality, which has an enduring appeal even if it’s not a particularly novel discovery. Their resurgence last year demonstrated the astonishing potential of advertising campaigns to resonate with audiences of all generations.
Appealing to the sentiments and sense of nostalgia of seasoned travellers can encourage them to return, visit a similar location, and share positive travel experiences with others.
When someone has solid and favourable feelings for their memories, it is called nostalgia. Nostalgia naturally has a specific position in tourism advertising since travel is all about giving concrete experiences that give rise to new memories. Research identifies three categories of tourist nostalgia:
- Nostalgia for places visited.
- Nostalgia for previous incarnations and the need to return to those times.
- Nostalgia for social activities, or the feeling associated with trip memories of times spent with others.
Immersion in a virtual vacation would positively impact all three forms of nostalgia.
Creating stories that connect the past and present will maximise the appeal of nostalgia in advertising. Successful campaigns reinvent the classic, use cultural allusions, and embrace nostalgia. When used intelligently, nostalgia may help build genuine, lasting relationships with your guests.
Trend #5: Moral Marketing
By 2024, the foundation of a brand’s legitimacy will be ethical advertising. The emphasis goes beyond the moral use of AI to customised stories that cut across conventional demographics. Brands are moving toward inclusive storytelling that welcomes diversity and breaks stereotypes in a profoundly meaningful way.
For example, by including a range of skin tones, body types, and gender expressions in their advertising campaigns, hotels are redefining standards. Rather than depending on clichés, these companies appreciate individuality and genuineness in each person.
The Be More Here campaign from Hyatt captures the spirit of living in the now in a world that is rapidly approaching the future and where advancement is constantly sought after. The brand platform launch, which promotes care and health, perfectly fits the redesigned World of Hyatt loyalty program. It allows members to earn more points, have more options for redemption, and give gifts to their loved ones. Building authentic relationships, visitors will find a wide range of services carefully designed to support them on their unique journeys towards wellness, each offering a unique perspective on enhancing their well-being and lives.
To promote an inclusive image, businesses in the hospitality industry emphasise varied talent in their ads by featuring employees from various backgrounds.
Though trends come and go swiftly, one thing is sure: success depends on one’s capacity to adapt. Remaining adaptable is essential for creative solutions that navigate trends. Successful travel and hospitality advertisers create memorable experiences for their customers, influencing them long after they make a booking because that connection becomes the real indicator of success when a guest grins, feels engaged, or briefly escapes from your advertisement.