Award: Best PR Tactical, and the only platinum winner, for its Hostelling with Chris Eubank video – a collaboration with Lucky Generals creative agency.
Brief: To engage with the target audience of millennials, reminding them that hostels are not just affordable social hubs but that they boast increasingly stylish spaces.
Strategy: “The millennial audience is on mobile and social media,” says Ottokar Rosenberger, chief marketing officer at Hostelworld, explaining why digital is such a focus for the brand. The company’s Hostelling with Chris Eubank video, which was uploaded to YouTube, was born out of an 18-year-old sketch that featured on TV’s I’m Alan Partridge show, where Partridge suggested the idea to a BBC executive.
The idea was brought to life last year after Eubank expressed his confusion on Twitter over why people always asked him about youth hostels. The online hostel aggregator seized the opportunity to introduce the eloquent former boxer to the world of hostels. “Everybody knows Eubank and lots of young people are in on the Partridge joke – it was culturally very relevant,” Rosenberger explains. “So when Eubank came around and said, ‘Hey, what is up with hostels and me?’, that got us going.”Rosenberger adds that it is testament to the team’s ability to innovate quickly that made the idea a reality. “From going, ‘Should we do this?’ to getting Eubank involved and into the Brighton hostel, to putting it online, it was four days. If we’d done it a week later, I don’t think it would’ve worked… [Working on the momentum built online] was absolutely the key to success.”
Masterminding such a successful campaign all comes down to having great brand awareness, Rosenberger adds. “It was tongue-in-cheek, but also very authentic for our brand. [It’s important to] always be authentic about what you do and what you stand for as a brand.”
ROI: The video reached an audience of two billion and was picked up by national media. “We were featured in places we wouldn’t normally get to, such as the BBC” says Rosenberger. “We wanted to pierce through the consciousness of millennials. And we totally achieved that.”
Watch the ad here:
Aneil Bedi, partner at M&C Saatchi, says: “The key to good marketing is that it has to present ‘old’ information in a new, surprising but relevant way. What makes Hostelworld’s Hostelling with Chris Eubank so brilliant is that it combined all this with the impact of everyone being in on the Alan Partridge joke. It didn’t cost a fortune and the results were outstanding – a masterstroke of marketing. It was a unanimous decision to give it The Travel Marketing Awards’ highest rating – platinum. I can’t wait to see what they do next.”
Award: Best Use of Multi-Channel – very high standard gold, for creative agency 360i’s “This is the Life” campaign for P&O Cruises.
Brief: To reach a new audience – including those who might not otherwise have considered cruising and to drive sales and conversation online – without alienating P&O’s existing customer base.
Strategy: To support the launch of P&O’s new ship Britannia, 360i was briefed to create a social media campaign that drove engagement and converted sales during peaks. The campaign ran in conjunction with the launch of the “This is the Life” TV adverts, which featured comedian Rob Brydon.
Phil Burgess, the company’s managing director, says the agency aimed to debunk myths around cruising (such as insufficient time on land, and insufficient activities or space onboard), aiming the content at families and empty-nesters. “We needed to understand what the target audience thinks and feels,” he says. “It was about really coordinating all channels and maximising every opportunity. The reason it’s been so successful is that integration. We collaborated very closely with [media agency] the7stars and [creative agency] Founded to make sure everything was coordinated. We used the social media campaign to amplify the [TV] message and to encourage people to generate and share their own content.”
The campaign yielded great results, and is scalable, says Burgess, but adds: “It’s misleading to think of social media as free any more. Facebook and lots of other platforms have shifted. It really helps to have a media budget, but [it] doesn’t have to be huge.” Using data to profile and target potential customers added to the firm’s success: “To really look at the data you own and how that can inform your marketing approach allows you to make really informed decisions,” he adds.
ROI: 360i’s social media campaign generated 10 million impressions on Facebook in four weeks, five times more than in the month before the campaign. Facebook interactions topped 24,000, gaining P&O 4,372 new fans. Tweeting generated 3.4 million impressions, with engagement peaking at 9% – far higher than the industry average of 1-3%. Website traffic rose 218% through social referrals and P&O achieved a 30% increase in sales year-on-year.
Kyle Haughton, City Cruises’ managing director, says: “Truly multi-channel, excellent results.”
Steven Seddon, head of marketing, digital and sales at Scenic UK, says: “Stand-out entry, and not just because of the big budget. The use of user-generated content and tailoring the website was really effective and produced great results.”
Award: Tomorrow’s Travel Marketing Leader, a new award sponsored by TTG.
Background: Heath’s formative years in education bore little relation to marketing: she did a degree in history. “I haven’t studied marketing or business,” she says. “A lot of it I’ve taught myself and picked up on the job.”
Heath started her career working in e-commerce for Mothercare. After two years at the brand, she moved into online marketing at hospitality firm Whitbread, looking after brands such as Premier Inn, where she spent almost two years. In 2013 she moved to Travelzoo as a subscriber marketing analyst. And after just over a year at the firm she was promoted to marketing manager where she now manages the growth of Travelzoo’s member base in the UK, although she also looks after several other European markets.
Career highlights to date: Working as part of a very small team, Heath worked to launch a TV advert last year – the company’s first in Europe. “It was a fantastic test campaign and proved TV is a viable channel for Travelzoo,” Heath explains. “I started out completely in the digital space, so to then work in TV advertising was a role reversal.” Integrating the advert with all of the company’s online channels was just one of the challenges Heath faced. Switching between the more creative aspects of the campaign and constantly thinking about how the advert would yield a good ROI was another. And aside from a tight production schedule, Heath also had to collaborate with staff from multiple departments and Travelzoo teams in different time zones.
Travelzoo’s rising star:
Glyn Owen, head of marketing UK at Travelzoo, said: “Emily demonstrates a strong work ethic and desire to improve the status quo. She has hit her goal every quarter since joining Travelzoo. Her involvement in our first TV campaign and the improvements she has made to our marketing landing pages were two of the biggest wins for the business in 2015. Emily manages the multi-million pound budget for the UK and France and lends her expertise to our teams across the globe. Her achievements in 2015 led to her being awarded Travelzoo’s Rising Star award in Europe. Not only is Emily bright but she’s a lovely person, and I know she has a very bright future – I just hope we can keep hold of her.”