Expedia is giving away replicas of Joe Jonas’s hand to nervous travellers ... Wait, what?

Expedia knows people might need a little hand-holding as they plan their first trip after the pandemic kept them home for more than a year.

So the travel booking company is using a very literal, extremely specific tool to drive that point home: a hand. Of a Jonas brother.

As part of a marketing push, Expedia used a 3-D printer to make resin replicas of singer-actor Joe Jonas's right hand to give away. For travelers who want such a thing, quantities are in short supply - just 250 are available. The hands are meant "to symbolize the support and reassurance Expedia aims to bring to travellers," the company said in a news release.

Each "limited-edition piece of art," as Expedia calls the "Helping Hands," have been painted with custom artwork, numbered and signed by Jonas.

But why Jonas?

"Joe Jonas is someone that has spent much of his life on the road ... Travelling has always been a personal passion of Joe's and not only is he eager to get back out there, but he understands travel is better when you have a companion to explore with," an Expedia spokesperson said in an email.

"I, uh, have a 3-D-printed hand that you can literally take with you," the pop star says, sounding like he can hardly believe it himself, in a video posted on Twitter. "And I'd love to hear where you're travelling to."

The short clip shows the process of making the hands, including shots of Jonas holding up his right hand and wiggling it with sensors attached, and the finished product - a table covered in a swath of hand replicas.

Some fans on Twitter expressed enthusiasm and described their plans for the hand, if they were to get one. Others declared the promotion "weird." One man went further: "Ah yes, nothing cures my travel anxiety like my emotional support severed hand!" he wrote.

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Expedia's Twitter account had its own take: "This is certainly one of the weirder things I've done but it's for a good cause, okay!!!!"

The Seattle-based company is donating $100,000 to the humanitarian organisation Mercy Corps to help communities dealing with the impact of covid-19.

As part of the announcement, Expedia released several of Jonas's own travel photos and a "curated travel destination list" including hotel picks and must-do experiences in cities like Austin, New York, Amsterdam, Paris and Tokyo. (The celebrity is apparently fond of bike riding, shopping, eating and "playing chicken-[poop] bingo.")

The Washington Post

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