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George Clooney, John Legend and Scottie Pippen want you to travel.
All three celebrities are starring in new campaigns related to the travel industry: Clooney is promoting a fundraiser that offers the opportunity to visit him in Italy, John Legend starring in a new Vrbo advertisement promoting his loved ones to visit , and Scottie Pippen is offering his own Chicago home on Airbnb.
It’s no coincidence that travel companies are using familiar faces in their campaigns while the travel industry is picking up steam again.
“I think it’s an effective way to market right now,” said Jonathon Day, associate professor at the Purdue School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. âIt’s kind of an implicit affirmation that it’s safe to travel … It just reinforces the (idea) that people like me, or people I aspire to or respect, say it’s okay to travel, so it has to be in Be okay. “
A stay at Scottie Pippens Airbnb
For Airbnb’s latest promotion, the short-term landlord has teamed up with two-time Olympic and six-time NBA champion Pippen to promote the platform’s unique stays.
Pippen is offering his Chicago home up to four guests for $ 92 a night on August 2nd, 4th, and 6th – a nod to the year he became a gold medalist.
Guests can watch the Olympics and explore Pippen’s house during their stay, which features an indoor basketball court, personal movie theater, outdoor pool, arcade room, and indoor sauna. Pippen also greets its guests virtually at check-in.
Fans can book a stay at the house on Thursday, July 22nd at 1:00 p.m. EDT at airbnb.com/scottiepippen.
“I think it’s something we all look forward to, some kind of entertainment and seeing our athletes at a high level again,” Pippen told USA TODAY. “I think this is a great experience for fans to have the opportunity to come to my house and experience what it is like to watch the games from my swimming pool or my cinema.”
Chris Lehane, Head of Policy and Communications at Airbnb, said it was a breeze to team up with an athlete like Pippen, a sports icon recognized across generations.
“Every time you work with a Hall of Famer, you immediately say yes,” said Lehane. âWhen you look at how people communicate, how they connect, how they get involved in this day and age, it’s often through someone who is an influencer, someone who is a celebrity, someone who people just already know have a connection and with which they feel connected. ”
Day said celebrity endorsements can be especially useful for industries like travel.
“Travel has always used celebrity advertising and people like me or people like you to get their message across because you’re buying something that you can’t test before you get there,” said Day. âAnd because of the risk involved in the travel experience, you want that assurance. That makes a celebrity. “
John Legend works with Vrbo. together
Singer and actor John Legend, who recently starred in an advertising campaign for short-term rental Vrbo, is working again with the company to promote a vacation gift for families looking to reconnect after months of separation during the pandemic.
To participate, participants can follow Vrbo on Twitter or Instagram and post a photo of yourself with the person you want to reconnect with, along with a caption explaining why they want to reunite and #VrboReunionContest.
The winners will be announced daily for 30 days starting Wednesday. Legend will promote the giveaway on its Instagram, which has more than 13 million followers.
“John helps us find families who may not be fans of Vrbo yet, but who need and want this time together,” said Melanie Fish, director of public relations at Vrbo, via email. âWorking with a celebrity was about reaching new audiences, but Vrbo was also about finding the right voice – literally – to help Vrbo celebrate the reunions that this one Year in unbelievable numbers. “
Vrbo – which previously operated under the HomeAway brand – had a 2010 Super Bowl ad in which Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo repeat their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold, but this is the first time the company has helped build a campaign has a celebrity, said Fish.
Seunghyun “Brian” Park, an assistant professor at St. John’s University in New York who researches hospitality marketing and tourism, said this could be an ideal time for businesses to partner with a celebrity as more travelers take to the streets in comfort or heaven one more time.
“Hiring a celebrity is very effective for messaging,” Park said. “Partnering with celebrities will be very effective in allaying fan concerns.”
Visit George Clooney in Italy
George Clooney is not a good roommate.
At least that’s what his latest ad with Omaze, a for-profit fundraising firm, revealed. The movie star has partnered with the company to offer a giveaway that would fly the winner to Italy for a 4-star hotel stay and lunch with George and Amal Clooney once the pandemic is over.
In a video promoting the online fundraiser, Clooney acts as an annoying, Brad Pitt-obsessed roommate while quarantined.
“What’s interesting about celebrities and just plain talent in general is that they’re at the center of the culture and those Zeitgeist moments,” said Eric Edge, Omaze’s chief marketing officer. “You have the power to reach millions of people with a message.”
The fundraiser, which ends Friday, supports the Clooney Foundation for Justice, a nonprofit that works for justice through accountability for human rights abuses around the world.
Chekitan Dev, Singapore Tourism Distinguished Professor at Cornell University and a hospitality branding expert, said using celebrities in advertising is a “smart strategy,” especially when the celebrity is already associated with Italy through a tourism brand like Clooney .
“Resuming tourism after a full stop, especially after a pandemic, is a tough task,” Dev said via email. âSmart co-branding between a prominent brandâ¦. and a tourism brand … can move the travel market. “
He added that while partnering with a celebrity can be expensive, he expects more influencers in the post-pandemic world to push their followers to visit certain travel destinations.