Qantas and Sound Alliance hook up for new youth travel title

New content marketing initiative is aimed at inspiring 18- to 35-year old to travel and will encompass articles, photos and video content

Qantas has partnered with publishing group, Sound Alliance, to launch a digital content offering aimed at young travellers.

AWOL is aimed at the 18- to 35-year old market and will produce daily travel news and features using articles, photography and video aimed at inspiring these consumers to travel. The content marketing initiative will be fully managed and produced by Sound Alliance on behalf of Qantas.

The pair said AWOL is a mobile-first title that will publish more than 1500 pieces of original content annually focused on travel, music and experiences. At present, the site includes stories on Los Angeles and Tokyo, and says Melbourne and Paris are coming soon.

Qantas Group executive brand, marketing and corporate affairs, Olivia Wirth, said the airline was looking forward to be working with Australia’s leading youth content publisher to encourage more young people to travel Australia and the world.

“Sound Alliance is an expert in the youth segment and we are really pleased to partner with them to create a platform that inspires more young people to head out and explore the world,” she said.

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Sound Alliance CEO, Neil Ackland, said a portion of all of AWOL’s content will showcase destinations Qantas flies to and articulate the airline’s services to those locations.

He told CMO the idea for the site came from its annual youth research program, which revealed a strong trends towards travel being an increasingly desirable experience for the 18- to 35-year old age group. In many instances, younger travellers were looking to combine travel with attending music festivals and events.

“We know from our research that young Australians love to travel and are always on the go. The stories and content we create will be delivered directly through the Facebook news feed to their mobile phones,” he said.

“It’s exciting to be partnering with a brand like Qantas who have clearly identified how creating custom content can reach young people in the most engaging and bold way possible.”

Ackland explained AWOL was very much a native advertising play, and will be driven by the three key elements of native advertising as defined by Sound Alliance: Quality content; inspired by brand; and delivered in-stream. The company will also, however, sell display advertising on the site, of which Qantas will take a portion of.

Ackland was also confident of the team’s ability to grow AWOL’s social footprint and said it will not only produce content that has been carefully optimised to be shared across Facebook and Twitter, but will also be pushed out through existing titles from its portfolio with an established social voice, such as Junkie and inthemix.

Sound Alliance has brought on a dedicated AWOL editor and account manager, and will also tap into its 14 full-time content producers to provide content. AWOL will also utilise 150 contributors in order to post four to five pieces of content daily.

Last week, Qantas launched a new brand campaign around the tagline ‘feels like home’ aimed at reconnecting with Australian travellers.

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