Contiki challenges influencers to 'Switch On Social Travel’ via We Are Social

By AdNews | 8 May 2024

Social tour company Contiki has partnered with socially-led creative agency We Are Social Australia for an initiative that flips the script on traditional travel influencer marketing.

'Switch On Social Travel' is a social-first campaign that encourages creators to disconnect from their social platforms, and fully immerse in the travel experience.

The campaign took a diverse group of 17 influencers from the US and Australia, boasting a combined following of 20 million users predominantly aged 18-35, for a trip through Portugal and Spain.

But in a category awash with the same tired travel content, Contiki sought to redefine the travel experience by doing the unthinkable; challenge these travel influencers to completely unplug from social media for the entirety of the trip.

Freed from the pressure of posting and seeking validation on social media, the influencers delved deeper into cultural experiences, formed meaningful relationships, and rediscovered the joy of living in the moment.

Contiki North America president Melissa DaSilva said this campaign redefines the conventional use of social media in the tourism industry.

"It’s about inspiring the audience to rediscover the real essence of travel – connections made, cultures explored, and memories created away from the digital gaze," she said.

Throughout the social experiment, Contiki's channels provided fans with sneak peeks of the trip through engaging video content, capturing the essence of the journey and the authentic connections made by the participants.

The seven-day journey was documented with more than 30,000 photos and 40 hours of footage produced, which were edited into short and long-form videos, from casual vlogs to beautifully edited films that highlight the joy of immersive travel.

After reconnecting online, the creators shared their experiences, enriched by their time offline, with their followers, sharing their stories and answering questions from the audience.

The campaign has been rolled out globally across Instagram Reels, YouTube, TikTok, and other digital platforms, published across Contiki and the influencers' channels.

We Are Social ECD Ben Clare said for younger generations, never before has the pressure to immortalise a holiday or experience into a flawless social media post been so great.

"But doing so ironically detracts from the joy of travel and being fully present in the moment. It’s obviously pretty unconventional to engage travel influencers in a way that actually reduces their time online, but so far it's proven to be a powerful message: travel is more enriching when you live in the moment, not just capture it," he said.




VP of Marketing and Communications: Rita Kelly

Global Brand & Partnerships Director: Rachel Storey

Director of Marketing: Yuri Park

Senior Marketing Manager: Natalie Turner

Head of Creative Communications: Dominic Oliver



Account Director: Polina Patroucheva

Group Account Director: Helene Ioakimidis

Strategy Director: Russ Mitchinson

Executive Creative Director: Ben Clare

Associate Editorial Director: Michele Danno

Creative: Camden Chan

Editorial Director: Ruaridh O’Donnell

Executive Producer: Lucinda Hayden

Designer: Cynthia Vu



Director: Mikki Young

Creative Director: Mitchell McKay

Head of Design and Post Production: Phillip Antonio Lemos



Director of Strategic Operations: Jen Watson

Account Director: Natalie Fillion

Account Manager: Nate Sielk

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