Can You Pick The Single Greatest Business Trip of All Time?

One of the trickiest tricks for a marketer to get right is that of making your product or service feel as if it’s part of a higher calling or a greater movement. It’s so easy to get wrong. Let’s face it, products or services are often very banal. So imbuing them with anything is hard. And tying them to something huge and non-banal — like changing the world — is risky business.

So I was struck by a really nice campaign by business travel startup Upside. Upside is founded by Jay Walker, founder of Priceline.

Upside’s History’s Greatest Business Trips Bracket Challenge campaign plays off the idea that “we travel to get important things done.” This might not always be true. But it feels good to feel that way. Upside pits big “business” trips in history against one another and gives us the chance to participate. See some of the comparisons below.

They freely admit they have been a bit liberal in their definition of what makes a business trip.

The campaign does a nice job of making people feel good about business travel, is interesting enough to cut through the clutter and therefore will help Upside chip away at the long process of building awareness and getting people to try (and buy) their product.

I also love how they use the campaign as a vehicle to surface older marketing content from Upside. Like this Tripp & Tyler car video (referenced as part of the campaign above). I spent quite a bit of time watching these on YouTube. And I’d never seen them before. That’s smart.

Upside is not the first to try to imbue business travel with a sense of higher purpose.

This “Speech” ad for United is pretty moving.

Then there’s this from Virgin Atlantic.

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