Flights.com’s daring “Unboxing” campaign recently hit SoHo, with more than a few surprises for tech fans.
On an early Friday morning in SoHo, Flights.com started the day with an audacious plan: challenge shoppers waiting for the new smartphone release to leave the line in exchange for a free vacation—and prove that having experiences is more important than having new things.
SoHo, with its charming historical buildings and artistic roots, was the perfect backdrop to blend travel inspiration and futuristic entertainment for those waiting in line for the new phone.
At 6:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, the team arrived in front of the Apple SoHo store. They passed out fresh flower leis (shipped in from Hawaii) and gave those waiting in line a chance to use virtual reality glasses to experience vacations in Venice, Italy, and the beaches of Australia.
By 7:30 a.m., the team migrated to Midtown to spread the word at the second location. There, they found crowds of people waiting in line and asked tech fans where they’d travel if they could go anywhere.
Finally, it was time to test out the theory: Would people be willing to leave the line for the chance to win a free vacation?
Turns out, the answer was yes!
The Flights.com team gave away free vacations to three lucky winners. One winner wants to use his prize check to head to Dubai. Another wants to go to Hawaii. And the third is planning a trip to London.
Flights.com, an online travel company, accomplished what they wanted to do in SoHo and throughout the streets of New York City with this campaign: Spread the message that experiences are more important than things, and that traveling is the best way to gather new experiences in the world.
Not only did Flights.com give away free vacations with the street team, the brand also created an experience microsite and parody unboxing video, and wrote several articles about places you can travel to for less than the cost of a new gadget.
Flights.com has set itself apart with the philosophy that life is happening out there—birthday parties, sports games, weddings, vacations, concerts—and you need to be there. There are moments you can’t skip, and experiences you can’t ignore. As it so happens, science is catching up to this way of thinking.
According to studies done by researchers from Cornell and Berkeley, investing in experiences has longer happiness effects than short-term purchases. Knowing this, the Flights.com team saw an opportunity to further the story that travel is what connects us to experiences we’ll always remember.
Life is full of beeping taxis, flashing lights, and lines that wrap around corners. But for one Friday in September, Flights.com reminded people in New York City and around the country that life is happening out there—and it’s worth experiencing to the fullest with travel.