Travel search engine Kayak.com has launched a display advertising platform optimized for the travel industry. The new ad platform is based upon technology developed by Sidestep.com, which Kayak.com purchased in December 2007.
Like Google AdWords style text ads, the new display ad system helps travel marketers target their ads based on search criteria including destination, origination, trip dates, length of stay, specific airline/hotel/car brands and car type.
Kayak.com’s new system also serves display ads, including three IAB standard ad units of 180×150 pixels, 160×600 pixels and 300×250 pixels. According to Kayak.com, There are more than 30,000 active text placements on the Kayak Publishing Network from more than 2,000 travel brands.
Referrals generated by either ad type can pass consumers’ search information (destination, travel dates, etc.) through to the advertiser’s site, allowing the advertiser to display relevant search results instead of a generic landing page.
“Our advertisers have repeatedly told us that display ads can communicate travel services in a way that text ads cannot,” said Steve Hafner, Kayak.com co-founder and CEO. “Yet we know that some consumers dislike these ads and find them distracting. I believe we’ve found the right balance by allowing our registered users to suppress or view them, whichever they prefer.”
Kayak.com says that it and its affiliated sites under the Kayak Publishing Network generate nearly 200 million targetable ad impressions per month on air, hotel and rental car search result pages.