Orbitz runs James Bond mobile promo
Online travel service Orbitz Worldwide has struck a partnership with the makers of the upcoming James Bond movie, "Quantum of Solace," as part of a renewed emphasis on mobile.
The Orbitz.com service has allied with the producers of the new 007 film to give travelers seven ultimate Bond experiences, offering insider tips and deals for those looking to plan a Bond-style escape on a budget. This Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures release of Eon Productions' 22nd James Bond adventure will be released next month in theatres worldwide.
"With inspiration from movies like Quantum of Solace, more and more travelers look for ways to infuse some adventure and luxury into their vacations," said Tom Russell, group vice president of brand marketing for Orbitz Worldwide, Chicago.
"We've partnered with the film to give travelers a taste of what it's like to travel like Bond with unique trips to some of the world's most intriguing destinations," he said.
With unlimited funds and impeccable style, James Bond travels the world, making many travelers' escapades pale in comparison.
Most travelers will never be picked up at the airport by a chauffeur, cruise down the Thames River in London on a speed boat, or paraglide in the mountains of Ecuador.
That's all about to change for the seven winners of the Orbitz "Travel Like Bond" giveaway.
Fortunately, travelers don't need to be James Bond to experience the settings of the upcoming Bond film, Quantum of Solace.
Orbitz is giving away seven Bond-inspired trips, some destinations from Quantum of Solace, that span the globe, including Santiago, London, Istanbul, Panama City, Los Cabos in Mexico, and Quito in Ecuador.
The "VIP in Vegas" trip includes Las Vegas airfare plus three nights at the five-star Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, pick-up from the airport by a chauffeur, helicopter excursion to the Grand Canyon, Champagne lunch and white water rafting on the Colorado River.
Also included are an Aston Martin test-drive, private gaming lessons at the Wynn Casino, martinis at a private pool cabana, couples massage at the Wynn Spa, VIP tickets to the La Reve show, complimentary round of golf for two, bottle service at the Wynn's celebrity-studded clubs and all meals during the stay.
The "Undercover in Istanbul" trip includes airfare to Istanbul plus five nights at the Madison Hotel, city tour of Istanbul, a cruise down the Bosphorus strait aboard a private motorboat for two, helicopter tour of Istanbul, horse-drawn carriage tour of Princes' Island, dinner with a view and belly dancing entertainment, and a museum tour.
The "Luxury in London" trip includes airfare to London plus five nights at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House, a jet boat ride on the Thames River, Champagne aboard the London Eye ferris wheel, West End theatre tickets and dinner for two, an open-top London bus tour and luxury car rental.
To enter, consumers can visit http://www.orbitz.com/bond, where Bond fans can also watch movie clips from Quantum of Solace and play Bond trivia games to gear up for the movie.
Entrants are also eligible to win one of more than 200 instant prizes, including the new video game James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace, airfare vouchers and James Bond Blu-ray Disc movies.
Daniel Craig reprises his role as Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in Quantum of Solace, the MGM/Columbia release of Eon's latest adventure in the longest-running film franchise in motion picture history.
The film is produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and directed by Marc Forster.
The screenplay was written by Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.
Throughout the history of Bond films, the secret agent has traveled to five continents, more than 45 countries and even outer space, saving the world one movie at a time.
As Bond maneuvers between Italy, Panama, Chile and more in Quantum of Solace, Orbitz.com invites travelers to visit http://www.orbitz.com/bond to find the inspiration, deals and tips to some top international destinations featured in the current and past Bond films.
Travelers can save 10 percent on hotel stays with promotion code BOND10 and $75 on three-plus-night packages at select hotels around the world with promotion code BOND75.
Travel must be booked between now and Nov. 16. Travel must be completed by Jan. 31, 2009.
Meanwhile, Orbitz.com has extended its SMS alert service and expanded its mobile site, which now includes up-to-date information on flight status, including the average time of delay and how long it may last, average security wait times by terminal and by check point, nearby hotel room availability, as well as traffic, parking and weather.
"We originally started looking at mobile in 2006, when we launched a pretty basic site at mobile.orbitz.com, letting consumers get their flight status, look at their itinerary on a mobile device and do a quick search for hotels in top 20 markets," Mr. Russell said.
"Customers told us that biggest thing for them was when their flight was canceled, there was a mad rush to find a hotel near the airport, and this feature lets them see real-time room availability on their handset," he said.
"Now, the extension of our opt-in alert service will send real-time SMS alerts, a voice mail, or email, to whatever mobile device you have with you. A couple of hours before your flight, we'll sent you a text telling you if it's leaving on time, tell you if your gate changes or if the flight's delayed.
"Customers often say we tell them before the airline does."
When customers book a flight with Orbitz, they can set up their preferences and enable SMS alerts at the TLC or My Account sections.
"We launched traveler update section to the mobile site and now it's much richer and bigger and you can access through your phone's regular browser," Mr. Russell said. "It has a bunch of helpful info for customers, including the latest from the FAA and air traffic controllers.
"We've also enabled people to submit their own tips and updates about what they see is going on and enter it into a field on the mobile Web site or an SMS," he said.
"We're receiving thousands of visits a day to the traveler updates site, and people are finding the core site information very useful."
The mobile site now has most of the same functionality as the original Web site, but in a different, more mobile-friendly layout.
"It turns out that the most popular features are weather, security wait times and flight delays," Mr. Russell said.
License to shill
Orbitz is offering seven tips for travelers who are fans of the Bond franchise.
001. Maintain a low profile and save money by being flexible with your travel dates and times. Book well in advance and stop worrying about ticket prices dropping with services like Orbitz Price Assurance.
002. To stealthily maneuver about and save on hotel costs, consider alternative lodging options like condos, cabins and private homes, available at http://www.vacationrentals.orbitz.com.
003. If you want to indulge in those little Bond extras like parasailing or an in-room massage, bundle your flight, hotel and rental car into a vacation package to get the most for your money.
004. Don't let exchange rates thwart your mission. Try island destinations that use the dollar or explore less expensive Eastern European and South American countries where your money goes further.
005. To treat your own "Bond girl" (or guy) to a martini at the best restaurants, prime seats at the best shows or an exciting local adventure tour, always make your reservations before you depart on your vacation to get the best deals.
006. Make full use of the available technology. Use mobile sites like http://www.orbitz.com to find real-time availability for hotels on the fly, and check your flight status anytime, anywhere.
007. Plan your trip to travel in the off-season -- fall, winter, and early spring. You'll miss the majority of tourists and find better deals than in the high season, which for many popular destinations is summer.
Orbitz is an online travel company that enables travelers to search for and purchase a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages.
Since launching its Web site to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz has become one of the largest online travel sites in the world based on gross travel bookings.
On Orbitz, consumers can search more than 80,000 suppliers worldwide including airlines, hotels and car rental companies.
Orbitz is a brand that is owned and operated by Orbitz Worldwide.
Currently Orbitz is not hosting any mobile advertising.
"Our emarketing and online advertising tends to target people who are searching, for example, those who type in 'Las Vegas vacation,'" Mr. Russell said.
"It's still tough to search and book on a mobile device because of the complexity of the results," he said. "It's tough in a mobile environment today to properly execute, for consumers to see where they're going and make a booking via mobile."
To date, Mr. Russell has seen very low adoption for mobile booking. But says that as mobile screens get bigger and form factors change, it will become more common.
"When we first launched the mobile site, we had a sponsorship from Palm Treo, but we have not done it since then," Mr. Russell said.
"Our feeling has been we really want the experience to be as clean as possible for our customers, and we haven't seen mobile advertising that overcomes that and adds value to the mobile experience," he said.
However, in the future Orbitz would like to add mobile advertising, as long as it doesn't clutter the site or affect the consumer experience negatively.
"There's a lot of info on that site, and the hardest part was getting that right and laying it out in a way that was useful to people, and that requires an economy of space," Mr. Russell said.
"As devices change, we'll continue to talk to customers and figure out how they want to interact with us," he said.
"If they tell us mobile, we'll react to that, because that's what drives innovation for us, reaching our customer base on the devices that they want."