Friday, March 27, 2009

Continental, TripAdvisor Team on Metasearch Promotion

I guess Continental is very pleased to participate in the metasearch channel and in TripAdvisor's new flights search tool, in particular.

Continental and TripAdvisor partnered in a TripAdvisor Million Miles Sweepstakes so TripAdvisor could "celebrate our new flight-search service," according to an email announcing the promotion.

Talk about some marketing clout for metasearch.

The sweepstakes winner, according to the rules, will receive 1 million Continental OnePass miles plus $5,000, with the total value pegged at around $25,000.

To receive the prize, you have to enroll in Continental's OnePass loyalty program. I guess there will be a ton of new sign-ups.

So besides the eventual sweepstakes winner, the other winners here are TripAdvisor, Continental and the metasearch sector.

Meanwhile, searching for a Newark-Orlando flight using the TripAdvisor tool, I found a Continental flight bookable at,, and -- all for $199.

They each had their own marketing messages within the grid, including Continental's "Low fare guarantee," but not much other differentiation.

Incidentally, I wonder how Expedia Inc. plans to differentiate ("Go with confidence") and sister company Hotwire ("Book here!) in metasearch now that neither charges consumer-booking fees.

Maybe some kind of sweepstakes would work:)


viewaskew13 said...

I like the fact that Tripadvisor's metasearch allows the supplier to add a differentiating marketing message, but I find this first implementation as very rudimentary. After all, "go with confidence" doesn't give me any concrete reasons to choose Expedia over anyone else (in fairness, none of the marketing messages are that compelling.) The airlines have a great opportunity to message differentiation here (extra legroom, fresh baked cookies, direct TV in every seat, etc.) but I don't see them doing it yet. The better opportunity is route-specific marketing messages - for example, from Newark to Orlando, something like "only direct flight to Orlando" or "90% on time performance for this flight" or "Special offer - double miles"

Dennis Schaal said...

I totally agree with you. The marketing messages so far are fairly Stone Age. I expect this kind of thing should evolve fairly quickly.

Elliott Ng said...

I'm personally not that keen on sweepstakes. I've done large sweeps before and find that the traffic and email quality is not that good. I'd love to see customized alerts or other kinds of services delivered via email as the bait for getting quality emails. My 2 cents!

Dennis Schaal said...

Well, Elliott, your 2 cents are very valuable, so thanks for adding your insight since I've never run large -- or small -- sweeps, and I believe you.