Delta Air Lines Surges to Top of Travel’s TV Ad Spenders So Far in

Skift grip

It’s no secret that the extreme measures of the pandemic have upended advertising, but tourism advertising is making a leap and bounds back and forth, from television to the internet, then back to television. In 2022, travel brands are getting even more into TV, thwarting all speculation that national television is coming to an end.

Mary Ann Ha

Delta Air Lines recorded $70.4 million in domestic TV ad spend in the first quarter, taking the top spot in travel TV ad spend this year so far, according to the American TV Analytics Company. The airline was followed by cruise holding company Royal Caribbean, with spending of $33.5 million, and Airbnb, the biggest consumer of TV advertising last year, with spending of $27.3 million. millions of dollars.

Total domestic television ad spend for travel in the first quarter of 2022 was $351.5 million, a marginal gain from $321.7 million in the same period last year.

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines “The will to fly is a universal language”

Unsurprisingly, Delta’s most-spent TV ad this year is akin to Delta’s many Olympic campaigns, which are celebrated for their inspirational and motivational messages. At an expense of $15.7 million, the ad titled “The Will To Fly Is A Universal Language” is an uplifting montage of rewarding moments in sporting life and encourages viewers to find joyful accomplishments through hard work. and unwavering dedication.

Like Delta’s brand image, the video speaks of universality – commonalities of passion that cross international borders and dreams that come true through perseverance. Not only is the video nostalgic and emotionally charged, but the tone of the ad is familiar to audiences on national television or internet video, making it a prime pick to be the highest-funded TV ad ever. Delta.

While Delta Air Lines was far from among the top five spenders in the first quarter of last year, the brand, a famous sponsor of the Olympics and the United States team, showed a massive dedication to publicity TV ad spend for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Even greater bashing is seen between this year and Delta’s pre-pandemic TV ad spend of just $5,000 in the first quarter of 2019.

However, Delta Air Lines is not the only brand in its industry to have seen this increase in spending – the airline industry is reported to have spent more than seven times as much in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2019.

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean Advertisement “Rise to the Vacation – The Year of Yes” on Youtube

Targeting those deprived of adventure due to the lockdown, ‘Rise To The Vacation – The Year of Yes’ recorded the highest spend in Royal Caribbean’s domestic TV ad spend this quarter with a tag of 26.3 million of dollars. The title of the video, ‘A Year of Yes’, directly references the relaxed Covid restrictions and unapologetically capitalizes on the likelihood of ordinary people bursting into travel this year. Hosted by pop artist Lizzo’s “Worship,” the 15-second clip is packed with adrenaline-fueled activity visuals and invites people to say yes to cruise deals while checking off the items on your vacation bucket list.

Royal Caribbean, which also failed to take a place among the top five spenders in the first quarter of last year, came in second with less than half of Delta’s spending. Yet the cruise line still saw nearly twice as much this quarter as its $16.6 million spend in the first quarter of 2019. Coincidentally, its numbers also reflect all domestic TV ad spend by cruise lines in 2022 as a whole, which have almost doubled since pre-pandemic periods.


Characterized by Airbnb’s signature use of silence and natural sound, the “Strangers” campaign emphasizes the nature of the healing Airbnb’s getaways can offer those who crave recovery from the slowdown in the pandemic. In the video, a group of furry, indistinguishable creatures enter an empty house and enjoy a weekend full of family games and peaceful mornings. Kevin Morby’s acoustic track “Strangers” plays in the background as the clip shines a light on the little pleasures that can bring happiness. As the strange guests leave, they are revealed to be a human family of three, mirroring the tattered and worn-out versions of the incoming guests compared to their newly pieced selves as they return home.

With a headline that makes a short but frank reference to the main concern people had about Airbnb when it was introduced in 2007 (strangers staying with each other), this ad is about as simple as it gets. Video alone spent $13.6 million, half of Airbnb’s domestic TV ad spend in the first quarter.

Airbnb, which topped national travel TV ad spend in the first quarter of last year, faltered slightly in 2022 spend to third at $27.3 million, just behind Royal Caribbean. Like Delta, Airbnb has shown a notable commitment to national TV ads since the start of the pandemic, with zero spend at the start of 2019.

In contrast, overall hotel and motel ad spend fell from $66.4 million in the first quarter of 2019 to $23.2 million in the first quarter of this year, as there has been a greater focus on local lately. month.