How Citi’s #WhatsNewThisVacation boosted card spends this summer by engaging the online travel community

Citi partnered with the top social travel bloggers in India, who brought alive the ‘Experience the new’ idea by exploring a different and unique side of popular destinations

Citi #whatsnewthisvacation

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post created by the brand and not by the Lighthouse Insights editorial team.

Come summers and all one can think of is to pack their bags and set off on a vacation. Travellers are looking for the best deals, the best travel packages that their hard earned money can buy, even as the travel space gets crowded with several BFSI brands promoting a barrage of travel offers, wherein the communication is very offers and deals focused.

However, one Cards brand sought to create differentiation and own the travel space, this summer, notoriously synonymous with deals and offers. Looking to break away from this clutter and create a stronger connect with travelers using deep insight led communication, Citibank India rolled out its social and digital led #WhatsNewThisVacation campaign.

The idea was to inspire travelers to explore the world a little deeper and ‘Experience the New’ during the peak summer travel season. Here’s the case study explaining in depth, how Citi went about building brand association among cardmembers, while also engaging with the online travel community, around the idea of ‘Experience the new.’

Problem Statement

Summer Travel Season is synonymous with deals and offers. How does a Cards brand create differentiation and own the travel space?


BFSI brands usually tend to be very offers and deals focused while promoting travel offers, but Citi wanted to break away from this clutter and create a stronger connect with travelers using deep insight led communication

With its social and digital led #WhatsNewThisVacation campaign, Citi aimed to inspire travelers to explore the world a little deeper and ‘Experience the New’ during the peak summer travel season with following key objectives

  1. Build association of Citi with travel, and drive card preference and share of wallet among Cardmembers planning their Summer Travel.
  2. Engage with online travel community, to seed in the ‘Experience the new’ campaign idea and promote Citi offers.


To bestow maximum visibility to the initiative, Citi partnered with the top social travel bloggers in India – Bruised Passports. Run by ardent travellers and Citi Cardmembers, Savi and Vidit, Bruised Passports as a platform has a dedicated following of travel enthusiasts on Facebook, Instagram and Blog.

Bruised Passports brought alive the ‘Experience the new’ campaign idea by exploring a different and unique side of popular destinations like Paris and Seychelles along with off-beat destinations like Andorra and Slovenia. The duo also kept their audience on Facebook and Instagram updated real time with Webisodes and Photo posts.

💙💙 Sometimes you just need to go offbeat to discover a memorable stay that lingers in the memory. A lot of you asked for more on our unusual abode in on the Arctic Circle - a transparent glass igloo!! We spent one of our most memorable holidays in the Finnish wilderness in Lapland 3 years ago. Having slept on a bed of ice in an actual igloo in Switzerland, we wanted something a bit more comfortable in Lapland ☺️😍 That’s how we discovered this igloo resort - the temperature was around -30 °C outside but the igloos are heated. The best part is that they are transparent so you don’t have to leave the igloo when the Northern Lights come up at night. You can just lay on your bed and watch the Aurora Borealis dance right OVER your eyes. We spent entire days staring at the beams of sunlight filtering through slanting Arctic trees, going on reindeer safaris, and playing in fields covered with glistening snow by day and staring at the Northern Lights by night. Lots more information and a WHOLE video is on our website (link’s in bio) 😊😍 #CitiIndia#whatsnewthisvacation #citiambassadors #bruisedpassports #travel #love

A post shared by Savi and Vid (@bruisedpassports) on

💙💙It’s true - our offbeat travel experiences have given us some of our most memorable stories, which we continue to share with friends and family. This is the Milky Way and a million stars above our hotel in the deserts of Bolivia 💙💙 Driving through the remote deserts of Bolivia is one of my FAVOURITE travel memories - Bolivia is home to the largest Salt desert in the world - Salar de Uyuni. This hotel, situated in the middle of the Salar, is made entirely out of SALT 🙈😍What’s more, it’s the only structure around for miles. No wonder then, once dinner gets over and the hotel lights are turned off, it’s easy to see millions of stars with bare eyes. It was freezing when we visited but Vid spent the better part of 3 hours clicking star trails. After 3 hours, he came in and persuaded (read bribed!) me into coming out to see the skies instead of sleeping - I put on a dozen woollies and walked out with trepidation but THIS was the sight that awaited me! Aah Bolivia 🌟🌟🌟🌟 #CitiIndia #whatsnewthisvacation #citiambassadors #bruisedpassports #travel #love

A post shared by Savi and Vid (@bruisedpassports) on


They also effectively leveraged  Facebook Live(s), giving their followers a firsthand view of  – how they travelled, usage of Citi Card for getting max benefits and of course, ‘experiencing the new’ at all these locales. They also gave useful travel tips to the audiences.

To make the campaign even more engaging, Citi launched the #WhatsNewThisVacation Facebook contest inviting stories of unique and offbeat experiences.  The most unique and interesting entries were selected and rewarded with travel vouchers.


#WhatsNewThisVacation ContestHave you also explored some place beyond the cliché, like Savi and Vidit?If yes, then share your unique travel experience along with a picture or video and stand a chance to win MakeMyTrip vouchers worth ₹2000!Here is what you have to do:1. Share a Facebook post on your timeline or comment below with an offbeat or unique travel experience. Make your post interesting with an image or video. 2. Include the hashtag #WhatsNewThisVacation3. Tag Citibank India Facebook page in your post4. Don't forget to make sure that your post is public*T&Cs applyClick to know more

โพสต์โดย Citibank India บน 23 พฤษภาคม 2017

Top travel bloggers such as Siddhartha Joshi, Lakshmi Sharath also joined in the fun sharing their offbeat travel stories on blogs and social media handles, and helped the campaign idea of ‘Experience the new’ reach a much wider audience.


To effectively highlight travel offers and benefits on Citi Cards– the brand partnered with some of the leading travel online hotspots such as Tripadvisor, Holiday IQ amongst others. The top travel bloggers fraternity from India was also involved in creating and curating travel content on unique and offbeat experiences further enhanced with travel tips integrating Citi travel offers.

The campaign was also promoted on owned media such as EDMs, SMS, ATM and Branch Network, along with outdoor media at key locations such as premium malls. Citi offers were also exposed to travelers using WiFi targeting at Mumbai airports and through Geo-fencing at big corporate parks across Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai.


  • #WhatsNewThisVacation campaign created massive buzz delivering a reach of 16MM+ on Facebook, highest ever for a Citi India campaign.
  • #WhatsNewThisVacation contest crowd sourced 650+ contest entries and was among the top 5 most engaging campaign in May from BFSI sector in Asia Pacific!
  • The bank saw an YOY 31% uplift in Card spends for May-Jun’17, with May’17 spends being the highest ever for Citi.