Aug 11, 2023

Make Memories: Behind-the-Scenes of Creating a Brand Campaign

Emma Brooke
Creative Lead

Emma Brooke, Creative Lead, shares how GetYourGuide’s in-house Creative Studio made our biggest brand campaign to date.

In GetYourGuide’s Creative Studio, making innovative and impactful brand campaigns is all in a day’s work. Our team of expert writers, designers, imagery, and operational specialists is continually exploring new ways to market our unforgettable experiences to new customers around the globe. But when we were tasked with creating GetYourGuide’s biggest-ever brand campaign in late 2022, we knew that a big challenge lay ahead.

This project would require us to think bigger, work smarter, and push ourselves further than we’d ever done before. With this daunting task ahead, there was only one question on everyone’s mind – how soon can we get started?

Finding the “big idea”

The journey of creating an advertising campaign begins by making the most important decision of the entire process – what’s the story we’re going to tell to our customers? The outcome of this decision serves as the north star for everything that comes next.

While you might imagine Mad Men’s Don Draper lounging on a sofa pondering the answers to these kinds of questions, these days, our approach is much more data-driven and methodical. We rely on a mix of customer research and insights, testing and analysis of previous work, clear business objectives and KPIs, and a sprinkle of creative flair to make the call.


Assembling the dream team

With the idea taking shape, it was time to find a talented team to bring the concept to life. While many companies rely on external creative agencies to take on this kind of task, we believe an in-house team like our Creative Studio can deliver the most powerful results. Why?

  • We can be more agile and constantly test and iterate throughout the creative process.
  • We know our brand and customer better than anyone, having spent countless hours examining what makes them tick.
  • We have an expert team with decades of combined agency and in-house experience.
  • We’re able to be more cost-efficient.

However, for a project this scale, we knew we’d need the support of some incredible partners. We enlisted Hamburg-based production partner DigitalSinn, and the award-winning talent of LA-based director Anderson Wright to help make our vision a reality.

Planning the production

With the team in place, we started to turn an idea into a very concrete reality. It begins with making scripts and storyboards that show second by second what the ad will look like. Write a draft, get feedback, and repeat until our team and our stakeholders are fully confident about the film and photography we’re about to create.

Then the pre-production wheels start turning, organizing all the logistics of making an ad. This includes choosing the location, finding the talent and crew, wardrobe and set design, and getting permissions and permits. This process can take several weeks, making sure everyone and everything is as prepared as possible before the film and photo shoot begins.

Lights, camera, action

We decided to film and photograph our campaign in two locations – Thailand and Barcelona. This combination allowed us to make the most of a few elements: great weather (very important for a travel ad), a wide range of recognizable and unforgettable experiences to showcase, and competitive production costs. So at the end of Feb 2023, our team boarded a plane to make the campaign.

Filming and photographing a campaign comes with many creative, technical, and logistical challenges that require out-of-the-box thinking to solve.

Creatively, we’re looking at bringing out the best in our actors and showcasing our experiences in the best possible light. For example, we discussed how to capture a wide range of emotions from our skydiving actors while they are freefalling from a plane. Our solution was to pick veteran skydivers who are used to the experience and would have better control of their facial expressions.

Technically, we’re thinking about lighting, camera movements, and adapting to the environment. For example, how do you capture a scene in the middle of a lake with shots required from underwater? The answer involves lots of walkie-talkies, a special camera boat, and a camera person who isn’t afraid to (literally) dive in. 

Logistically, we want to figure out how to make the impossible possible. How do you get an overhead shot of a market where drone access is restricted? Our approach involved working closely with a local restaurant to put a camera and a crane on their roof.

Polishing to perfection

Once the footage and images are captured, it’s back home to turn raw footage into a beautiful campaign through editing, color grading, sound mixing, and more. For our film, we knew we needed music that would be just as epic as the experiences we were showing – Africa by Toto. We worked with composers to develop a classical rendition of the song and enlisted members of the Prague Film Orchestra to record it live for an extra dose of magic.

What happens next?

Once the campaign is finished, it’s time to share it with the world – but a creative’s work is never done. We continually test and iterate on our work after the launch date to make sure it performs as well as it possibly can. This might involve making new edits or experimenting with CTAs. Over the next few months, we’ll analyze the response and process the learnings to improve our work for next time when we begin the exciting process all over again.

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