Winner of the Global Youth Travel Award for Effective Use of Marketing
Innovation: Summer Adventures Video Contest
Guest: Sarah McNamara, Senior Vice President, AuPairCare
As the premier au pair agency, AuPairCare is dedicated to matching families in the United States with international au pairs who provide live-in childcare as part of the Department of State cultural exchange programme. Since 1989 AuPairCare has matched over 85,000 au pairs from all over the world with their host families, bringing the world into homes.
AuPairCare launched the first Summer Adventures Video Contest with the goal of showcasing inspirational summertime travel and cultural exchange experiences of their participants. The campaign resulted in increased engagement with current and future programme participants, acquiring user-generated content that created virtual connections and showcasing how travel could be experienced “at home” in the USA and still inspire a worldly perspective through cultural exchange.
What is the most innovative thing about the Summer Adventures Video Contest?
Traveling across the US goes hand-in-hand with the cultural exchange focus of our au pair programme. Promoting local travel, exploration and discovery of different cultures and customs is an important global message: discovering a new country promotes cultural exchange and goodwill, which in turn ultimately makes the world a more connected place. Through our campaign, current and future participants were able to witness that traveling across America is not only fun, but possible during challenging times.
How did this campaign stand out compared to others you have done in the past? What were its unique challenges and successes?
One lesson learned was how critical it is for customers to see their experiences reflected back to them, especially during the pandemic. Authentic customer anecdotes provided positive reinforcement of the programme and a reach to wider audiences. Additionally, promotion of safe domestic travel, and support of the local communities that were visited, provided comfort to participants that fun, cultural exchange can be had during the pandemic.
What value do the Global Youth Travel Awards have to companies like yours?
The Global Youth Travel Awards (GYTAs) celebrate everything AuPairCare stands for. For over 30 years, AuPairCare has supported young people who wish to expand their opportunities and experiences, improve their language skills, and often step out of their comfort zones by living with a US host family and witness a new country and culture. The award could help AuPairCare reach a broader audience of young people around the world to showcase that this type of opportunity exists, as cultural exchange programmes can often be unknown.
What value does an international association like WYSE Travel confederation have to organisations like AuPairCare?
We too believe in the economic and social power of youth, student, and educational travel – not only at AuPairCare, but all programmess under Intrax, our parent company, promoting work, travel, volunteer, and learning programmes.