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Travel Leaders Pursuit of Paradise: A Treasure Hunt for Awareness


Travel Leaders is a full-service travel agency. Not surprising, its business model was under attack from the rise of self-service options online. At the same time, research indicated that the company had low awareness in two key markets—Milwaukee and Minneapolis. We needed to deliver a campaign that was distinct enough to break through the media clutter and focused on those two key markets.


Travel Leaders’ Pursuit of Paradise (POP) was born. The concept was an online and off-line treasure hunt to spur brand engagement, powered by social media, and celebrity and media partnerships. We enlisted Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel show Bizarre Foods, as the celebrity spokesperson for the contest. In addition, we harnessed a relationship with Funjet Vacations to secure a grand prize trip to Mexico as an incentive for participation.

To execute the program, we utilized a combination of online and off-line tactics to generate awareness and excitement, while surrounding participants with the Travel Leaders brand. The program was centered around a POP microsite, with extensions into Facebook and Twitter. Awareness was driven through a combination of traditional public relations, short-message service campaigns, search marketing and paid media.

We built engagement with participants in the weeks leading up to the final event, using word puzzles, trivia questions and ultimately an off-line event led by Andrew Zimmern.


The Travel Leaders’ Pursuit of Paradise program resulted in:

  • More than 26 million total impressions
  • 41,300 unique views of the contest
  • 1,700 separate teams participating in the contest
  • 1,725 total hours of digital engagement across channels