The Partner Awards are presented to original and groundbreaking campaigns as a way to honor the exemplary innovation and success in digital marketing and advertising. To ensure campaigns meet the highest standard, Expedia Media Solutions consults with partners to develop solutions that effectively leverage the Expedia group platform and vast partner network. By tapping into Expedia Media Solutions’ expertise and reach, marketers can have access to cutting-edge technology and innovative tactics that will drive impactful results like those demonstrated by this year’s Partner Awards winners from Africa and the Middle East. “The winning campaigns from South African Airways and Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts showcase the advanced innovation present in today’s digital marketing world and they deserved to be recognized,” said Noah Tratt, global vice president of Expedia Media Solutions. “We work closely with all of our partners to ensure that we’re continuously working to help them build and execute strategic marketing initiatives that map back to their business goals.” The annual awards recognize campaigns across the African and Middle East regions and this year’s winners include: Best Campaign of the Year – Africa: South African Airways As the largest airline in South Africa, South African Airways was looking to drive increased awareness for not only its brand, but also all South African destinations within the U.S. market. It set out to heighten awareness for its U.S. hubs and feeder markets as a way to increase market share to South African destinations from key U.S. markets. In June 2013, the airline became one of only three sponsors of the first international luxury sale for Expedia.com, which provided an out-of-the-box way for them to showcase its aircrafts’ luxury cabin interior and drive bookings for Premium Business Class Seats. The luxury sale’s impressive results, year-over-year gross bookings for the carrier grew by 44 percent, led the airline to develop a yearlong advertising campaign with Expedia Media Solutions. The 2013 campaign featured display banners across flights and vacation packages paths as well as a five-week Expedia.com home page module sponsorship that ran each quarter. The home page placements captured the target audience’s attention through compelling South African imagery and drove users to the airline’s landing page. Time spent on the landing page averaged 1 minute 40 seconds in 2013, which is far above the average rate. Additionally, South African Airways ticket sales from 2012 to 2013 grew by 24 percent and gross bookings increased by 18 percent, demonstrating the lift in brand awareness that this long-term campaign brought to South African Airways and the destination at large. Best Campaign Middle East & Indian Ocean: Jumeirah Summer Flavours Campaign To generate interest from U.S. and U.K. travelers, Dubai-based luxury hotelier Jumeirah created its Summer Flavours promotion which was offered across its five Dubai locations and featured a variety of specials such as daily complimentary breakfast, invitations to dine at over 50 participating restaurants, and complimentary access to Wild Wadi Waterpark. The hotel group worked with the Expedia Media Solutions team to develop a campaign that would effectively market this summer promotion by leveraging the reach of the Expedia group’s relevant ecommerce platforms. The team built a dedicated landing page and it not only acted as a content destination highlighting the hotel group’s summer specials, but also integrated a social plug-in linking to Jumeirah Facebook pages and campaign-related video content. Banner ads, tab targeting and geo-targeting were implemented in order to engage with relevant audiences throughout the purchase funnel. The campaign was a success, receiving nearly 13K clicks and obtaining a click-through rate of 0.52 percent which is well above the industry average of 0.19 percent1 . The Homepage Core Offer featured on Expedia.co.uk performed particularly well, generating a CTR of 3.55 percent. Throughout the campaign, the hotel group saw a distinct increase in bookings with an overall year-over-year booking increase of 203 percent, which was impressive given that during same time period the Jumeirah’s competitive set saw a year-over-year booking increase of less than 50 percent. The momentum generated by the campaign and a higher level of bookings was retained even after the campaign stopped running.