By David Jenkin

Lufthansa and Swissair teamed up with Artifact Advertising to try something that hasn’t been tried in South Africa, or in the global travel industry. The brief was to create something fun and interactive for the Lufthansa Group’s travel partners and Guesstinations was the result.

The app consists of a quiz-style game that utilises virtual reality through a Google Cardboard device, with images from Google Street View of 60 destinations around the world. When the user arrives at one of these places, they are asked to guess the region and the city to earn points. At first, the game is easy, beginning with iconic destinations such as London or Cape Town, and with each level it becomes more challenging. Users earn points as they progress and work their way up the leaderboard. Prizes are on offer, ranging from economy flights to Europe, iPhones, suitcases or even a luxury chauffeur service.

Guesstinations is not yet available for the public. Artifact Advertising’s account and business unit manager, Caitlin Anley, explains that currently it is a B2B campaign limited to travel agents, but they hope to tweak it in such a way as to make it suitable for the general public. “Wouldn’t it be great if you were looking for a travel destination and we can put you there in a 360° view, on a beach, or in a pub in the alps just before you go skiing. You’ll get a feeling for where you’re travelling before you get there.”

Jola Slomkowski, marketing manager for Lufthansa South Africa, says, “I think it’s really for people who love games. There’s this competitive element, so we’re trying to cater to all types within this app. The leaderboard was something we thought of after, there is this gamification, competitive element.” She explains that travel agents can compete with one another, and because the travel industry is a small environment, it offers a good way for them to connect.

Anley says with regards to the origin of the idea behind Guesstinations, it was sparked by a conversation she had in passing with Slomkowski who mentioned that she had an Oculus. “My (Anley’s) digital director is a big fan of VR and has been investigating it for years and years and, obviously, with the Oculus it’s a reality. So he begged me to get hold of it but that never happened. So eventually he came to me and was like ‘I bought this Google Cardboard off the internet and we’re going to use this instead’. And that’s actually where the idea came from, the fact that Google Cardboard is far more accessible to most people than an Oculus Rift. And from that the idea was sparked to use the insight that most travel agents don’t know where they’re going when they’re booking flights for you and haven’t really experienced it, and it wouldn’t it be great if we could take them there from the seat of their chairs.”

She adds, “It takes a bold team to experiment with new and sometimes untested technology and working with the Lufthansa Group to keep the Lufthansa/Swiss brands top of mind, as well as align ourselves with their global mandate of pushing innovation, was achieved in abundance with Guesstinations.”

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