Sound Alliance and Qantas partner for branded youth travel title

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 12 November 2014

Youth content publisher Sound Alliance's new branded content studio is working with Qantas, in a bid to encourage more people to travel with the airline.

The duo has created an online travel publication, AWOL, in the first major piece of work announced by the publisher's Native Studio division, which was formalised last month. Sound Alliance has had in-house native content creation capabilities since hiring its native advertising editor in September 2013.

AWOL, launched today, will focus on daily travel news, features, destination guides, photography and video to produce “in-depth travel journalism.”

Sound Alliance CEO Neil Ackland said AWOL will follow Sound Alliance's strategy of “mobile-first” in targeting its key 18-35 age demographic.

“We know from our research that young Australians love to travel and are always on the go,” Ackland said.

“The stories and content that we create will be delivered directly through the Facebook newsfeed to their mobile phones. It's exciting to be partnering with a brand like Qantas which has clearly identified how creating custom content can reach young people in the most engaging and bold way possible.”

Qantas Group executive brand, marketing and corporate affairs Olivia Wirth said the airline was hoping to encourage more young people to travel.

“AWOL will showcase that many destinations Qantas flies to and will give young Aussies up to date information to help plan their travel from overseas music festivals to top new places to eat and visit that are off the beaten track.”

Under the arrangement, Sound Alliance will manage the title on behalf of Qantas through the entire process of conception, creation, distribution, amplification and even measurement of content.

Sound Alliance content director Tim Duggan recently told AdNews that measurement was a emerging focus of Sound Alliance's branded content division.

He said that comparing native advertising campaigns is like comparing apples and oranges, unlike traditional display advertising which has a standard CTR of measurement.

“There is no regulation and no consistency at the moment,” Duggan said. “If a brand works across five different publishers of native advertising they’ll all be presented differently, they’ll all probably have different results and they’ll all probably be measured differently. That can be really confusing.”

It follows the launch of Qantas's biggest ever brand campaign, designed to reposition to the business following a major organisational restructure.

Qantas brought in Kevin 07 adman Neil Lawrence to create the campaign which aims to re-engage with the emotion people feel for the brand.

 

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