Hotel Online  Special Report


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VFM Interactive Releases PhotoFlicks® 
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Innovative Rich Media Turns Still Photographs into Audio-enhanced
Slide Shows to Increase Hotel Bookings Online

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada — November 10, 2004 — VFM Interactive released PhotoFlicks today, the latest and -- most innovative -- product in its portfolio of rich media for the hotel and lodging industry.

PhotoFlicks uses a hotel’s current photography to create moving slide shows enhanced by music and voice-over narration. By using existing images, PhotoFlicks are exceptionally cost-effective, making it now possible for any hotel property to leverage multi-media marketing to influence potential guests researching online and increase its bookings.

Development of PhotoFlicks began earlier this year when VFM saw the need to develop an economical product that made rich media more widely accessible as a marketing tool. Up till now, hotels interested in rich media have had to invest larger amounts in shooting full-motion videos or 360° virtual tours. Now with the launch of PhotoFlicks, a property requires only a modest library of good-quality images to enter the era of rich media. VFM then uses these photographs to create a moving slide show of softly-transitioning images, adding music and voice-over to promote features and amenities.

“We are very excited to launch this new product,” says Paolo Boni, President and CEO of VFM. “Not only does PhotoFlicks make the acquisition of rich media as a marketing tool entirely easy, but it also is as relevant to large brands as to small independent properties. Using PhotoFlicks, management companies and brands can roll out rich media to 100% of their portfolio due to the affordability of this product. Likewise, small properties no longer have to be held back by small marketing budgets to enter the era of rich media.”

A key benefit to PhotoFlicks is its flexibility. Unlike full-motion video or virtual tours, images and sound clips in PhotoFlicks can be easily replaced or substituted. If a property undergoes renovations to any of its facilities or adds additional features, it’s a very simple process to change images to keep the PhotoFlicks current.

As well, PhotoFlicks is exceptionally poised for targeted marketing. Because it is so economical to produce, hotel properties can create several versions of PhotoFlicks to customize messaging to specific audiences. For example, if a property has a primary business focus on conferences, one version of PhotoFlicks can utilize appropriate images and voice-over to highlight features most relevant to meeting organizers, such as business amenities and destination appeal. For the leisure traveler, a separate PhotoFlicks can be created to highlight recreational facilities and special services. Even different seasonality can be addressed. For a resort who offers both summer and winter recreation, it’s a simple matter to create a PhotoFlicks for each season addressing the skiing enthusiast in one case, the golf aficionado in the other.

Key to the impact of PhotoFlicks as a marketing tool is powerful distribution. As with its other rich media products, VFM distributes PhotoFlicks to a hotels’ individual site and brand site, as well as to a network of more than 5,000 travel sites such as Travelocity, TripAdvisor and Travelweb. This powerful distribution ensures that VFM’s hotel clients stand out and motivate consumers on the sites where consumers are researching and booking travel.

Because of proprietary technology, PhotoFlicks offers the same tracking benefits as VFM’s other rich media. Hotel clients can track how often their PhotoFlicks is viewed and which websites are receiving the most playbacks. PhotoFlicks joins VFM’s portfolio of other powerful rich media tools for the hotel industry including Premium Video Tours, Photomontage Video Tours and Premium 360’s.

About VFM Interactive

VFM Interactive is the leading producer and distributor of rich media content for the lodging and travel industry. With a focus on distribution strategy, VFM produces a variety of multimedia content including video and 360° images and distributes this content to its clients’ websites as well as its network of partner online travel agencies including Travelocity, Orbitz, Travelweb, TripAdvisor and thousands of others. Through effective distribution and flawless on-demand streaming, VFM helps clients maximize their presence on the web, turning consumer research into revenue by offering travel consumers the ability to visualize their travel purchase. VFM provides content distribution services for more than 1,000 individual hotels and resorts from brands and management companies such as Choice, Crowne Plaza, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Interstate, Marriott, MGM, Outrigger, Radisson, Regent, Sheraton, W, Westin, and Wyndham properties. VFM Interactive’s head office is located in Toronto, Canada.


 
Contact:
VFM Interactive
Debra Sharp
Director of Communications
Tel: 416.263.5674
Toll Free: 1.877.593.6634
Email: debra.sharp@vfmii.com
Website: www.vfmii.com
Also See: Rich Content Such as Internet Videos, Virtual Tours and Flash Presentations Significantly Impact the Buying Decision of Consumers Researching and Booking Hotels Online / December 2003
Online Rich Content Is an Important Branding Asset as Well as a Compelling Marketing Tool for Hotel Franchisees to Drive Revenues Through All Online Channels, Both Direct and Indirect / January 2004


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