The Set Effect – TV Inspiring Travel

Feb 6, 2023

Travel trends today are about exploration in new ways. After an uncertain couple of years in the travel and tourism industry, it’s not about compromise, but a different way to experience time away. It’s about reconnecting with the joy of discovery and making up for lost time by ticking off those bucket list items. People are ready for buzzy destinations in this time of the “no-normal.”

But where are they getting inspired?

That’s where the “set effect” comes in. Let’s dig into the concept and how it can be harnessed by brands to not only spark wanderlust, but as a marketing tool.

What’s the Set Effect?

The set effect is the role television, film, and, to an increasingly larger degree, online content plays in captivating and inspiring viewers to discover or rediscover destinations.

According to “The No-Normal,” a January 2023 report detailing a comprehensive survey of thousands of travelers by from Expedia,, and Vrbo, two-thirds of travelers have considered booking trips after watching television shows and movies on streaming services. Nearly 40% of those surveyed actually went ahead and booked travel after watching content featuring those destinations.

That’s almost as influential as word-of-mouth advice from family and friends, the top source of inspiration for travelers by only 2% more.

So where are they booking? 

These travelers are inspired by New Zealand landscapes featured in fantasy series like The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Period dramas like The Crown and Bridgerton continue to spark an interest in travel to Great Britain. The romantic comedy Emily in Paris has spurred a renewed interest in ticking Paris off travelers’ bucket lists, and latecomers to the first season of The White Lotus report feeling inspired to experience Hawaii’s best resorts.

Travel content can also introduce viewers to destinations they may know little about. The survey showed that unfamiliar places and up-and-coming places are high on their list for future travel. Data from short-term rental sites like Vrbo supports the notion that there is an allure in unassuming destinations like Nampa, Idaho, and Layton, Utah. 

This means solid growth potential for brands who want to tap into that innate curiosity and a market for unique adventures inspired by visual media.

The Set Effect’s Influence on Brands

How will brands say “no” to normal? It starts with a mindset shift and a break from routine marketing to reach consumers doing the same. Consumers are traveling with a purpose, and that purpose is often inspired by what they see in content around them. Marketing to reach these consumers should then be targeted, eye-catching, and similarly purposeful.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Consider cooperative advertising between collaborating brands within the travel space where it makes sense. Products or services should be compatible for this to work in a mutually beneficial way.

  • Partner with tourism boards looking to promote destinations. This can be particularly powerful with off-the-beaten path locales that spark curiosity in the consumer. An understanding of your audience certainly helps.

  • Tap into wanderlust with travel-focused content that doesn’t just sell. It inspires. This means high-quality, entertaining content that hooks an audience. Finding a story that organically integrates with your brand is essential.

  • Play with formats. Think about the right platform for your content and whether social media, websites, or streaming suit your purposes best. Consider whether it makes sense to use multiple formats to spread your message. It probably does!

  • Create impactful content that doesn’t feel like an ad. Perhaps it’s meant to elicit an emotional response or it taps into pop culture and that set effect. Consider the consumer impact from the ideation phase all the way through to development.

It’s also important to look forward when crafting fresh content. Think about what may be on the horizon when it comes to entertainment options for consumers. The set effect isn’t the be-all and end-all here for reaching media consumers. 

When it comes to streaming services, some of the big names have been looking at cost-cutting measures that don’t put them at risk for losing subscribers. That may mean bundling, more acquired content, or relationships with other media companies as consumers return to theaters and more traditional forms of consumption.

How will you innovate in such an uncertain climate? A third-party content creator can help. 

Where We Come In

At Odyssey Studios, we develop travel content that showcases the best of a destination. We use entertaining and engaging storytelling to produce pieces for brands within the tourism industry and brands that want to develop partners within that space. We stay on top of trends, including streaming content, to tap into consumer desires driven by ideas like the set effect.

Our team blends brand marketing with entertainment to produce content for streaming, linear, and digital or social channels. That expertise doesn’t just create a more collaborative experience. It allows us to use the right strategy for each brand. Reaching new consumers in a seamless way differs depending on product and services offered, potential partnerships, even geography. At Odyssey, we tap into existing relationships and build new ones to create content that inspires.

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