Ogilvy Shanghai and Agoda Dive Deep Into International Travel

By Patrick Coffee 

Agoda is a Singapore-based company that “offers accommodation booking services through its website and mobile app,” so it’s like a Kayak or Priceline for Southeast Asia.

That said, the company had yet to advertise in mainland China until last week, when Ogilvy & Mather Shanghai debuted its first campaign promoting the client’s service to Chinese consumers.

Specifically, this one is aimed at well-to-do travelers who want to visit “less popular corners of the world” and set trends for others to follow. One might even say they dive deeply into the international travel experience, hence the theme of this spot: “LandDiving.”

The ad includes some epic shots and we like the deep-sea metaphor, though the opening sounds made us think of meeting Darth Vader rather than going on vacation.


You see what they’re getting at here on the messaging side: people who use Agoda to travel appreciate the places they visit more than those who use other, more pedestrian services. (And they probably spend more money while they’re at it.)

Interestingly, Alan Platt has served as Agoda’s creative director for the past decade after holding similar positions at JWT, Publicis, TBWA\Chiat\Day New York and, yes, Ogilvy. He wasn’t mentioned in the press release, but the company’s global director of brand and marketing communications Andy Edwards says:

“The post ’80s & ’90s travelers approach travel differently. They don’t want to stand back, they want to dive in and embrace the exotic and the different. That’s what separates travelers from tourists.”

Ogilvy China CEO Chris Reitermann adds:

“Increasingly, young Chinese are hungry for experiences beyond mass tourism and unsatisfied by the promotional deals that generally drive this category.”

Beyond the anthem spot, Ogilvy and Agoda have created an online “community” of like-minded land divers who will share their superior tourism experiences via social/video channels like WeChat, Youku and Weibo.

The full effort will include “30 short films across four Southeast Asia countries.”