The Travel Marketing Awards celebrate creativity and innovation. Abra Dunsby catches up with four of this year’s winning brands and bright sparks
Princess Cruises: Winner of Best Use of Content Marketing Award
After Phillip Schofield became Princess Cruises’ brand ambassador last year, the marketing team hoped to use engaging content to reach a new potential cruise audience on a modest budget, ruling out traditional broadcast channels.
Suzanne Korff, the company’s director of UK marketing communications, explains why she thinks Princess Cruices clinched the award:
“Our unscripted content perfectly reflects both Phillip Schofield’s personality and our brand. Phillip’s story as a first-time cruiser with Princess was unveiled over the course of three months.
This content not only engaged a new audience but provided our travelpartners with additional brand content, which they could utilise and distribute as well.”
The social media campaign was a huge success, with one video of Schofield’s time onboard a Princess ship gaining more than two million views, leading to more than 100,000 visits to a specially designed web page.
Speaking about the win, Korff says: “The award means a huge amount to the marketing team. We’re always looking for new ways of providing travel agents with the tools they need to sell Princess Cruises, as well as increasing brand awareness to help get more prospective guests in store or on the phone.
“We’re thrilled with the response from agents both to the choice of Phillip as our brand ambassador and the supporting marketing material.”
As a company that takes nearly two million customers on holiday each year, the Hoseasons team is constantly innovating to drive its marketing forward and to attract and engage new audiences.
The goals for the team in 2017 were to support both the business and brand strategy by delivering a compelling and cost-effective range of marketing activity across their channels.
Additional goals included challenging perceptions of the Hoseasons brand, increasing new customers to the website and growing traffic through new content, including imagery and 360-degree videos.
Results included a 10% year-on-year growth in traffic and 20% growth in web use from the 25-34 segment. In 2017, Facebook fans grew 100% to 140,000 and Instagram increased fivefold to 6,500 followers.
Anthony Reilly, Hoseasons marketing director, says the whole team of 30 is thrilled to have
won the award: “Winning means everything to the team – it’s the recognition they deserve for pushing the boundaries of what we do, every single day. They’re passionate about marketing, the Hoseasons brand and inspiring people to book the UK as their destination of choice.”
Reilly cites an innovative approach to marketing, a focus on reaching new audiences and a strong team culture for helping Hoseasons bag the award.
Black Tomato developed the brief for Get Lost as a reaction to luxury travel trends.
Jos Davies, global lead of marketing and PR, says: “We were noticing the rise in discerning global customers coming to us looking for life-affirming experiences. They wanted to break away from the norm, to be challenged physically and mentally, and to travel in a new way.
So we developed Get Lost, the ultimate adventure experience that takes travellers to uncharted destinations and charges them with exploring their way through it, unguided, to discover their inner steel. We wanted to challenge the traditional concept of a luxury holiday.”
International media coverage comprised travel, lifestyle titles and broadcast opportunities, including 30 key pieces of international media coverage around the launch of Get Lost, with a combined online readership figure of 534 million views. To date the campaign has secured more than 500 Get Lost enquiries.
This award, which celebrates bright young talent in the industry and is created in partnership with TTG, means a great deal to Stone.
She says she’s “absolutely over the moon” to have won: “I’ve always had a passion for travelling and marketing, and when I started my career at Manchester airport I realised that I could combine the two together.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work with big brands from across the aviation industry on high- profile marketing campaigns and to work with inspirational colleagues from across the travel and marketing industries.”
Stone says her proudest achievement at Manchester airport was helping to manage Hainan Airlines’ launch marketing campaign for the UK.
“As an unknown brand in the UK, I was responsible for raising mass brand awareness of the airline and then targeting audiences with a high propensity for travelling to China. This route was hugely important for Manchester airport as it was the only airport outside of London with direct flights to mainland China.”
The launch airside event was one of Manchester airport’s largest, and was attended by more than 150 high- profile guests including the Chinese Consul-General, the Lord Mayor of Manchester, the Northern Powerhouse minister and 30 journalists.
Outside of the launch event, the campaign involved establishing Manchester airport’s presence on Chinese social media channels Weibo and WeChat, and managing the airport’s first geo-targeted digital campaign, targeting users via the language settings on their phones.
The campaign’s success is impressive. “Since the route was announced, more than 7,000 pieces of coverage have been generated,” says Stone.
“In its first year of service, more than 90,000 passengers have flown – that’s 15% higher than planned for. The new route and subsequent campaign have also driven a 21% uplift in total UK-China passenger air journeys year-on-year.”