BOOKING.COM IS ALL SMILES THIS SUMMER WITH SMILEY-THEMED STAYS FIT FOR A SUMMER OF ‘YEAH’
After Two Years of Travel Restrictions, Booking.com Just Wants to Make You Smile with Bookable Weekend Getaways at “Smiley Stays” Across the U.S.
NEW YORK, July 26, 2022 – Booking.com is going the extra smile this summer by kicking off the global travel leader’s Summer of ‘Yeah’ campaign with a series of “Smiley Stays” across the U.S., perfectly timed to the 50th anniversary of The Smiley Company, the brand behind the iconic smiley symbol everyone knows and loves. With each smiley-themed vacation rental property bookable for one lucky pair of consumers, the “Smiley Stays” include a luxurious Smiley Glamping Stay at Collective Retreats on New York City’s Governors Island, Smiley Stay at Sea with Lumar Yacht Experience in the Mid-Beach district of Miami Beach, and a Beachfront Smiley Stay in Malibu perched along SoCal’s quintessential Malibu shoreline – each equipped with Smiley decor and amenities that will have guests grinning ear to ear, and brimming with Smiley vibes synonymous with summer.
According to a recent Booking.com survey,* 76% of global travelers say their motivation to travel is to boost their mood. To help make this a reality for U.S. travelers, Booking.com is highlighting its breadth of property types – from unique stays like boats, beach houses and glamping experiences, to rental cars suited to every trip, and even top-notch attractions fit for a Summer of ‘Yeah.’ The epic “Smiley Stay'' experiences will be decked out in Smiley’s logo and color palette, featuring Smiley bean bag chairs, luminaries, inflatables, bedding, neon signs and more, with locations including:
- An Insta-worthy glamping getaway at Collective Governors Island, just an eight-minute ferry ride from New York City and surrounded by sprawling green landscapes, complete with in-tent massages, daily sunrise yoga, nightly smores on the lawn, chef’s tasting menus, and makers classes to learn either the art of bouquet making while sipping rosé or the nuances of mezcal while creating a hand-crafted copita, plus bikes for island exploration.
- A Lumar Yacht adventure in Miami for those looking to yacht it up on the sun-soaked upper deck of a spacious boat, adorned with an eye-catching nautical Smiley aesthetic and floating atop stunning blue Florida waters, inclusive of a four-hour charter along the picturesque coastline and bikes for cruising around Miami Beach.
- A beachy escape for shore seekers where the fresh ocean air of Malibu can be enjoyed straight from the expansive balcony of a stunning coastal reverie, Big Rock Seaside Beach House, artfully infused with Smiley-studded touches and a sun-drenched floor plan.
Every detail of the properties will exude Smiley and Booking.com flair to accompany a series of fun programming in keeping with the cheerful theme. Lucky guests will be treated to a Smiley concierge for the duration of their stay, keeping everyone beaming ear-to-ear with everything from watersports and spa visits, to crave-worthy meal bookings and photo opps surrounded by Smiley faces – all sure to keep Booking.com guests cheesin’ this season. The limited edition “Smiley Stays” will each be available for one pair of lucky bookers for a two-night stay taking place Friday, August 12, 2022 to Sunday, August 14, 2022 for just $50.00, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Smiley. The weekend getaways will become bookable exclusively on Booking.com on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 12 p.m. ET on a first-come, first-served basis.
In tandem with Booking.com’s Smiley Stay activation, the continuation of the brand’s revived Booking.yeah ad campaign, featuring none other than award-winning actor, filmmaker and musician Idris Elba, shows just how easy it is for travelers to find and book the perfect trip. Entitled Perfect Stay: Windsurf, the new summer ad spot exemplifies Booking.com’s array of accommodations, touting more than 28M listings total, including a whopping 6.5M mix of homes, apartments, and unique places to stay. While Booking.com may not be classically “sexy, flashy or lit,” as Idris so aptly puts it in the ads, over half (60%) of U.S. travelers agree that being on vacation makes them feel sexier, which is exactly why Idris is here to make “functional” the new “sexy,” by way of peace of mind and plenty of summer fun.
“Now that travel is picking back up again, I’m really looking forward to getting back out there,” said Idris Elba, the star of Booking.com’s Summer of ‘Yeah’ campaign. “I’ve always traveled extensively for work, but making time for a vacation for my happiness and wellbeing is a whole different experience. Even a short getaway to reset mentally and physically makes an impact, which is why I love Booking.com – they make it so easy to find and book any type of stay you want. The new Smiley Stays this summer are no exception to the great vacation rental options on Booking.com, and a way for travelers to have a bit of extra fun in the sun.”
According to Booking.com’s recent Summer of ‘Yeah’ data**, Americans agree that getting away makes an impact and travelers are ready to get out and experience what the world has to offer, stating that having an epic experience this summer is their top priority. More than half (61%) of US travelers are motivated to continue ticking off their travel-related bucket list and gain a once-in-a lifetime travel experience. After so much time indoors, the top three accommodations travelers are most interested in booking this summer are beach homes (31%), all-inclusive resorts (20%), and cabins in the woods (19%).
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 48,413 respondents across 31 markets, including 2,000 from the US. In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and planned to travel in 2022 and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in January 2022.
**Booking.yeah consumer research commissioned by Booking.com in May 2022 and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel this summer. In total 11,187 respondents were polled online, including 1,008 from the US.
Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com’s mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world whenever it’s safe to do so again. By investing in the technology that helps take the friction out of travel, Booking.com seamlessly connects millions of travelers with memorable experiences, a range of transportation options and incredible places to stay - from homes to hotels and much more. As one of the world’s largest travel marketplaces for both established brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes, Booking.com enables properties all over the world to reach a global audience and grow their businesses. Booking.com is available in 44 languages and offers more than 28 million total reported accommodation listings, including more than 6.5 million listings of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay. No matter where you want to go or what you want to do, Booking.com makes it easy and backs it all up with 24/7 customer support.
Created in 1972 by French journalist Franklin Loufrani to spread feel-good news, the Smiley TRADEMARK/BRAND would go on to become one of the most important icons in graphic design, bringing people together through a creative message that spreads positivity and putting social and emotional learning at the top of the agenda. Smiley is a universal counter culture icon with a message of positivity that has influenced generations across the globe. Reinvented and redefined by generations of activists, artists and creators, Smiley continues to thrive and influence future generations.
In 1996 Nicolas Loufrani, son of Franklin, took the helm whilst the world was in the midst of the digital revolution and saw a huge opportunity to bring Smiley into the digital world. Nicolas created a whole new way of communicating, using a variety of facial expressions on the original Smiley to convey emotions. His emoticons are now used by everyone around the world every day.
Pursuing Smiley’s goal to make the world a happier, kinder, more conscious place, Loufrani created Smiley Movement in 2017. Smiley Movement is a non-profit community which aims to inspire positive change in society addressing urgent societal and environmental problems. Smiley Movement provides a cross-media platform of news, videos, events and awards that connect the non-profit sector to the broader public to enlighten minds and empower people to take positive action.
Today, The Smiley Company is one of the world's top global licensing enterprises that extends across fashion and homewares, through to food and beverage and continues to embrace collaboration as an opportunity to spread this important message. For 2022 Smiley will bring back its original message of ‘Take the Time to Smile’ which is still as relevant as ever, by spreading this positive message through global activations, brand collaborations and feel good experiences. More than an icon, brand and lifestyle, Smiley is a spirit and philosophy and a reminder of how powerful a smile can be.