Time Warner’s HLN said it would launch “Vacation Chasers,” a four-episode reality series that has travel experts scramble to win an alliance with people seeking a luxury vacation. Before the program debuts June 5, HLN will unveil a smartphone app under the same name that will allow users to curate a travel itinerary by searching through Instagram pictures.
In the program, which will air at 9 p.m., hosts Rachel Rudwall and Andrea Feczko will compete to construct a winning vacation plan for a viewers who is chosen based on tweets and other social-media postings sent to them.
As HLN works to orient itself toward a generation of viewers that dips into Twitter, Pinterest and other social-media outlets for news and information, the network is developing concepts that are “social first,” said Katrina Cukaj, exec VP of advertising sales for CNN, which operates HLN. “It’s the type of content that is very sellable for us,” she said.
Travel-site Expedia and Allegra, part of Sanofi’s Chattem unit, have signed up to sponsor the program, the executive said. Allegra is sponsoring mobile content within CNN outlets for the first time. Expedia is advertising on HLN for the first time with the pact, which will have the company appear in “tune-in” spots and other advertising. Allegra will sponsor both the show and its app, where it will have advertising appear on the home screen.
In the recent past HLN has produced one show with Holiday Inn that made the hotel chain an integral element of the program. In this case, Cukaj said, the idea came from program-development executives at the network, not an advertiser.
“Vacation Chasers” will be the third series HLN expects to launch in tandem with an already existing mobile app. In April, the network unveiled plans to debut a new game show based on the “Heads Up!” segments from Ellen DeGeneres’ talkshow in the first quarter of 2016. The network’s “Keywords,” which debuted in March, was based on an app as well.