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AARP and Avis Hit the Road with New Custom Native Offering

"Road trips are a popular form of travel among the 45+ leisure travel audience."

May 6, 2016 · Share via Email LinkedIn

AARP, which has been in the travel business since 1958, has opened its doors to top-tier advertisers with its new “BrandAmp" native ad offering. In advance of the “summer road trip" season and for its first robust, multi-media BrandAmp experience, AARP has worked with car rental company Avis to develop a smart, eye-catching, and relevant campaign for its active 50+ audience.

The campaign, slated to run through July 2016, makes sense according to the data: AARP Travel Research has found that "Road Trips are a popular form of travel among the 45-plus leisure travel audience, with 87% taking part in this mode of travel approximately three times a year and 72% claiming road trips as their favorite way to travel." For Avis, the campaign makes sense because 65% of AARP members rent cars for leisure travel with 69% renting cars 3+ times per year.

The campaign strategy started with a poll asking readers of its website, magazine, and social media accounts to vote for their top USA road trip from the 10 road trips listed. The results have been announced on a page featuring a slide show of the top drives displayed in order of voter preference. Though I didn't even know about, let alone participate in the poll, I couldn't help but realize as I scrolled through the slide show that I had actually rented a car to drive at least three of the 10 drives chosen!

The road trip page, which makes it unavoidably evident to the visitor that it's paid content (see below image), works well for all parties.

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The top vote-getter, the Pacific Coast Highway, has the benefit of additional content build-out. When the user clicks the PCH slide, she is taken to a whole page with gorgeous images, video clips, lodging and dining tips, traveler recommendations, and more.

With the slide show, the visitor gets served an easy and attractive way to digest this very top-line travel info which has an Avis offer and call-to-action built right in; for AARP, they've developed an immersive, content-focused user experience for their exclusive car rental partner, Avis; and Avis gets far more exposure than it would in any kind of traditional CPM-based buy or single embedded “billboard" native ad.

Of course, what's smart about the way this campaign is delivered is how it entices the visitor (and even the earlier poll taker) to consider all 10 road trip destinations. As I looked through the slide show at the scenic images of the road trips I have not yet taken, I made a mental note that I would need to add the remaining seven to my bucket list. Even more rental opportunities for Avis.

This post was commissioned by AARP; opinions, content, and ideas strictly my own.