- Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts launched a podcast series that encourages travelers to be more adventurous with the extra time afforded by Leap Year, according to a press release.
- "Take the Leap" debuted on Feb. 29 and will roll out in three installments, each hosted by influencers from differing backgrounds. The first episode profiles Jessica Nabongo, the first black woman to visit every country in the world and document her travels. It details her experience with a Four Seasons-catered trip to Tuscany in Italy.
- "Take the Leap" marks Four Seasons' first time producing a podcast and was inspired by a commissioned survey that found consumers across demographic and geographic lines put more value in additional vacation time than money. The program is available to stream on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, with new episodes featuring Instagram influencer Patrick Janelle and entrepreneur Poppy Jamie airing in March and April, respectively.
Four Seasons is crafting an audio content play around the Leap Year, hoping to spur listeners to use the extra 24 hours this year to do something new and experimental regarding travel.
The hotel and resorts marketer is leaning into its luxury roots by spotlighting premium experiences, such as a cooking lesson from Michelin-starred Chef Vito Mollica documented by Nabongo in the debut episode. Additional content, including behind-the-scenes footage, will be shared on YouTube, and Four Seasons will update followers about the effort and broader campaign around taking advantage of extra time on social media through the hashtag #FSTakeYourTime.
Podcasts, which have rapidly climbed in popularity in the smartphone era, have seen a recent surge in interest from brands looking to reach consumers who are tuning out traditional channels like TV and radio. In a recent report, the IAB found 75% of media buyers are making podcasts ad buys, a jump from 63% who did the same in 2018.
The travel and hospitality sector was in some ways early to the podcast game compared to other business categories. InterContinental Hotels cracked into the space in 2016, and other competitors to privately owned Four Seasons, like Marriott, have run more recent series.
While "Take the Leap" meets several trends, like the growing consumer appetite for digital audio content and Leap Year-specific marketing, it arrives as the travel and hospitality sector experiences serious disruptions stemming from the spread of coronavirus. There are now more than 1,600 confirmed cases of the virus in Italy, according to The Washington Post, and it continues to spread throughout Europe, halting travel plans and leading to the cancellation of several major industry events.