As we outlined in one of our trends for 2012, Reengineering Randomness, greater emphasis is being placed on randomness and discovery as an antidote to our worlds becoming more personalized and niche. Two brands recently tapped into this by offering serendipitous travel experiences to people willing to embrace risk. Heineken’s “Departure Roulette” invited travelers at New York’s JFK airport to abandon their itinerary and take a free trip to a mystery destination instead; this video shows the results.
As part of its “Travel Is Calling You” campaign for the HHonors loyalty program, Hilton placed a large gold rotary phone in a pedestrian plaza in Chicago. Some who picked up when the phone rang were offered a weekend trip to Miami, provided they could find a travel companion and leave the next day. The four winners were greeted with salsa dancers and a pedicab that took them to an AT&T store, where they received an iPad Mini and other gifts. Find some older travel-related examples here. —Will Palley