Twenty years after launching the first LGBTQ print ad encouraging travelers to “see the world on your terms,” travel site Orbitz is debuting a new national ad campaign and call to action for LGBTQIA+ travelers as the travel industry readies for a comeback.
The campaign, titled “Travel As You Are,” invites all people to travel on their own terms, not the ones society created for them. A short brand film and new manifesto premieres on Orbitz’s LGBTQIA+ travel microsite www.Orbitz.com/Pride today with creative appearing online and on streaming video platforms this month. According to Orbitz Brand Director Carey Malloy, the campaign reaffirms Orbitz’s long-standing commitment to inclusive travel, dating back to the early 2000s when the brand launched a series of advertising firsts in support of LGBTQ travelers.
“2020 was a year of unexpected and foundational change in the travel industry,” says Malloy. “COVID-19 gave us the opportunity to pause and rethink our business strategy, and we concluded that we didn’t actually want to be travel generalists. We wanted to refocus on our foundational values and the work that the brand started 20 years ago to advocate for LGBTQIA travel, equality and inclusion, but with a new call to action for the times we’re living in.”
Visionary LGBTQ+ photographer and director Cass Bird – known for her work with Dior, Calvin Klein and celebs including The Obamas, Jay-Z and Gigi Hadid – directed “Travel As You Are,” which features a diverse cast of LGBTQIA couples, friends and talent.
Underpinning the creative is the musical anthem “You Don’t Own Me,” as recorded by rising indie music artist serpentwithfeet, aka Josiah Wise. Wise has earned praise for his musical exploration of Black love and queer identity and is the first Black male LGBTQIA artist to re-record Lesley Gore’s feminist classic.
“We sought out a dynamic and diverse cast of talent and creatives from the LGBTQIA+ community to bring confidence, relatability and joyfulness to the campaign,” says Malloy. “And “You Don’t Own Me” is the perfect anthem because it has historically represented empowerment, and more importantly it’s a declaration for empathy.”
Orbitz’s agency of record, Laundry Service, created the campaign.
A New Era in Travel
“Travel As You Are” envisions a world post-COVID 19 where queer travelers are celebrated and welcomed, and Orbitz is investing in projects and partnerships to make this vision a reality.
On Orbitz’s refreshed LGBTQIA travel hub, visitors can browse hotels that have signed the brand’s pledge of inclusion, plan their next trip using the new events calendar or learn about Orbitz’s history and charitable efforts supporting LGBTQIA travel. Orbitz also became a global partner of IGLTA this year, joining an elite group of global brands that have committed year-round support for the association and LGBTQ+ welcoming travel.
“For LGBTQIA travelers and so many other communities, feeling safe and accepted is still the exception rather than the norm,” says John Tanzella, President/CEO of the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA). “Now more than ever,our industry needs to step up its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and help rebuild travel in a way that makes everyone feel invited to explore the world.”