Richards Group Fine-Tunes Travelocity’s Message

Travelocity.com presents a new advertising strategy in two television spots breakingMonday from The Richards Group.

“We just refined the message from a control message to an experience message,” said Jason Pruismann, Travelocity director of advertising and promotions.

“In the early days we concentrated on the control we offer our customers of shopping and buying,” Pruismann said. “But we learned people are more into the experience of traveling rather than going from point A to point B. We wanted to take the high ground with this campaign, show that we can offer the experiences that are most special to people.”

The first 30-second spot shows a couple bicycling on Maui. They are seen exploring Haleakala, billed as the only volcano that can be biked from top to bottom. In the second ad by the Dallas shop, a couple experiences a tribal ceremony of masked Indian dancers near Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

The latter spot is the first to tout the Internet travel site’s new product, Dream Maps, which lets customers type in a budget and receive an array of vacation options.

“What we’re attempting to do is take our branding strategies to the next level,” said Richards principal David Hall. “As we talked to consumers, we found that they wanted more in their travel experiences. They’re really into exploring. They want to see things that other people don’t see, have stories to tell their friends.”

The two ads begin airing June 4 on national cable and in airports. Media spending was not disclosed; Travelocity’s total annual marketing budget is $50 million. Other components of the effort will include online advertising, direct mail and targeted e-mails.

Reservation specialist Sabre is the majority owner of Travelo-city.com in Fort Worth, Texas.