Citi Gave Users A Dream Holiday With Their #TravelBigWithCiti Campaign

Citi just concluded one of their most successful and engaging travel campaigns.  It was an extremely well strategized and equally well executed campaign covering all user touch points. The brand partnered with leading travel brands like MakeMyTrip, Airbnb, Goibibo and British Airways to enable customers to travel BIG.

While the crux of the campaign revolved around getting users to increase spends on Citi cards, it is the overall execution which really caught our eye.

We have broken down the campaign into smaller segments, so budding brand managers can have solid takeaways from this case study.

1) Creative Expression

The split screen approach of showcasing the present and future self at the travel destination, was clutter breaking. Unlike the clichéd landscapes and sceneries which every other brand relies on, this was indeed unique.

And what made the creative device effective all across was smart use of videos, carousal and 360 degree photos on social, keeping the core idea intact.

2) Discoverability

The idea here was to reach users where they are already active and spend most of their time, instead of pulling them towards the brand. What was this place? Google, Facebook and YouTube.

For instance, check out how searching for ‘domestic flight offer’, promptly returned the Citi offer as the first result. Coupled with customer match, the brand was able to avoid spill-over and only target those who were actively in market for purchase and held Citi cards. With accurate targeting of customers, Citi achieved 2X CTR on Google, and on Facebook as compared to industry average.

3) Social Engagement


Based on the consumer insight of gifting oneself a dream holiday, something your future self will thank you for, the brand took a page out of Facebook’s playbook. You know how you get personalised videos from Facebook when you complete a year of friendship with someone? Citi took this a step ahead, and showed users how their future travel would look like.

Users were asked to choose a dream destination, upload a photo of themselves and a personalised video was then generated, which could be shared on FB. Over 600 videos were created, but what stood out was that this activity had a very high engagement rate with more than 44,000 + likes, shares and comments. You can create a video of your future travel through the tool here.

Association with relevant content partners

Citi partnered with Curly Tales, which is a popular social blogger for travel related videos. Citi offers were seamlessly integrated into their videos and amplified on social media by the brand as well as curly tales. This received more than 3.6. Million views with an engagement of more than 61,000 in the form of likes, shares and comments.

4) Targeting

Contextual Targeting

To ensure that the right communication reached the right people, Citi resorted to data driven and contextual targeting. The brand identified users watching travel channels on television like TLC, FoxLife and TravelXP, or those who were exposed to travel partner ads. These customers were then reached out with digital banners of the Citi offer on their mobile phones.

In the Moment Targeting

Citi also succeeded in reaching the right audience at the right time, with a highly relevant message. For this the bank paired its customer database with Facebook’s IP level targeting to identify customers who were travelling abroad and were in locations where Citi was running active offers and experiences. These customers were then served location specific ads on facebook which helped raise awareness about these offers, thus enabling them to make the most of their trips.


The best time to catch a potential customer’s attention is when they are planning their trip. Where does this happen? On TripAdvisor. With 4 Million + unique monthly visitors from India, this was the perfect platform for Citi to communicate their offers to potential customers. They were also able to catch customers at the perfect moment – when they are planning where to go, and what to do.

We hope that many more brands leverage social and data analytics to drive business objectives and efficiency in spends! Because that’s the way to go.

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