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Announcing the Launch of OrbitzGames.com
CHICAGO - September 21, 2005, Orbitz, the faster, easier way to find the trip you want, today announced the launch of OrbitzGames.com (http://www.OrbitzGames.com), a website dedicated to extending the fun of their popular, original series of online game ads. This website will allow new and loyal Orbitz gamers to interact with the brand in one easy-to-find Internet destination.
Marketing Success of Popular Online Games to Connect Consumers with Brand Experience ... Even When in "Non-Travel Mode"
Ongoing Sweepstakes Includes Daily Travel Wins to Vegas and Chance to Win Trips for a Year
Soon after launching in 2001, Orbitz became the innovator and experienced huge success by transforming often uninspired online ads into little games that people loved to play. The very first ad game ad was "Pluck the Chicken." The goal of this first interactive challenge was to get the chicken to roll over and lay a Golden Egg that opened to reveal "Orbitz"! Since then, Orbitz continued promotion of its highly successful pop-under ads, with the online games growing in their sophistication and popularity. Not only are player interaction rates high - the average game play time is an astounding 3.5 minutes spent with the brand - Orbitz gamers have also sent over 1.8 million "tell-a-friend" referral emails recommending a visit to the Orbitz site over the past year.
As a result of its success, Orbitz is launching this dedicated games site to build an online community of Orbitz enthusiasts who will connect with the brand when they are thinking about travel ... and even when they are in "non-travel mode". The goal is to make "the Orbitz experience" a happy moment in everyday life and to build an affinity with people who come to Orbitz.com to book their travel.
Why would a travel company build a site dedicated to games?
"Travel today is a game. And we want people to know that Orbitz is the most enjoyable way to win that game." said Randy Wagner, chief marketing officer, Orbitz and CheapTickets. "We're listening to customers in a whole new way and travelers are telling us they're scouring the Internet for our online game ads, so OrbitzGames.com is a part of our new laser focus on delivering a great customer experience...in the playful spirit of the brand."
According to a recent poll conducted for Orbitz.com by Ipsos Public Affairs, there is a significant parallel between the number of consumers who play games online or on their computer (44%) and those who book travel online (50%). In addition, 78 % of those who played the Orbitz online games not only enjoyed the experience, but said they would play again in the future.
"OrbitzGames.com is designed to engage a growing community of brand enthusiasts. The games are now reinforcing fun travel experiences -- like the new Island Hop -- and there are great travel deals and coupons on-site every day" adds Wagner. "We know that if customers enjoy their gaming adventure on OrbitzGames.com, they'll think of our brand as the place to go for a great experience when booking travel."
Right now, OrbitzGames.com includes engaging community features, such as:
- Creating personalized "game face" profiles and the ability to read other players' profiles
- Visual representations of how many people are currently on the site
- Information on what games those within the community are playing
Over time, peer-to-peer play will be added so people can challenge other players to compete.
In addition to experiencing the new online game -- Island Hop, players also now have access to play old favorites located in the OrbitzGames.com "Arcade", an archive of the most popular historical online game ads, including Sink the Putt (mini-golf) and Swing for the Fences (baseball)."
Orbitz game enthusiasts can share their experience with a Tell-a-Friend connection, and soon players will be able to send a personalized "Wink-O-Gram," a fun email message from famed game show host, Wink Martindale, who also stars in the current Orbitz ad campaign which uses a classic game show motif.
Orbitz Games Promotion
From now until November 11, 2005, players will have a daily chance to win a trip for two to Las Vegas, including airfare and hotel. They also will be automatically entered to to win the grand prize - a year's worth of travel from Orbitz.com, which includes airfare for two and two-nights hotel accommodations every month for one year.
No Purchase Necessary to enter or win. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States who are 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited. (visit www.OrbitzGames.com for official rules and more details).
About Ipsos Public Affairs:
Poll information on Orbitz online game ads was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, based in Washington, DC. The total sample size of the scientifically conducted Omnibus phone poll was out of a group of 998 consumers over the age of 18 years old. 813 consumers, with Internet connections, qualified to answer questions within the Omnibus poll conducted between August 30 and September 1, 2005. For more information on Ipsos, please visit their Web site at http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/.
Orbitz (www.Orbitz.com) is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and purchase a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, lodging, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Since launching its website www.orbitz.com to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz has become the third largest online travel site based on gross travel bookings. On Orbitz, consumers can search more than 455 airlines, tens of thousands of lodging properties worldwide and 16 car rental companies. Orbitz was acquired by Cendant's Travel Distribution Services division in November 2004 and is part of the Consumer Travel Americas group.
|"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Orbitz Worldwide Inc.'s business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.|