Category Archives: Travel and Tourism

Best Tourism Ads on the Planet

Inspiring travel and tourism adverts from Beloved Brands.

Beloved Brands

Ad_Newfoundland_240x240As we hit the fall, it’s a great time to be thinking about vacations.  Here are some of the Best Tourism ads from around the world.  Too many Tourism spots use a montage of clips against a cute wholesome song and put on a cheery tag line that says very little and offends very few.  Most tourism ads all look the sam.  The challenge for tourism groups is the number of constituents they must please really inhibits the risk taking that would push for greatness. 

Here’s a few of my favourites.   Feel free to add others.    

Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada

This ad captures the pure beauty of Newfoundland, a province on the east coast of Canada.  Pure desolate and rugged beauty.  This campaign  enticed me to go to Newfoundland and it did not disappoint.  Best photos you’ll ever come back with.  I’d go in the summer…

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Filed under Advertising, Great Marketing, Marketing, Travel and Tourism

Great Marketing by the rail industry

I am a big fan of Metro’s DumbWays2Die campaign. In my opinion, this is an example of great marketing. If it has somehow passed you by, here is the link to the Youtube clip.

Clear objectives lead to success

The objectives of this campaign are obvious: to communicate rail safety messages and cut the number of avoidable deaths on the Metro network. This campaign has avoided the parent to child approach often used for ‘public service’ education campaigns, and approached the objective in such an unexpected way that it has undoubtedly got the message across. With over 44 million views on YouTube and 300 tweets it has been a viral hit, communicating the rail safety message to more people than they could have imagined.

Infotainment at its best

Dumb Ways To Die creativeThe success of this campaign is due to the clever mix of humour, music, video and illustration to get information across in an entertaining way. The slightly retro feel will appeal to an older generation, whilst the primary colours appeal to the youngest of viewers. The quirky gore is right on the button for the inbetweeners. All in all, it cuts through our expectations of what a public service message would be like.

Going viral

The campaign launched in November 2013 used YouTube, Newspaper, Outdoor and Radio. Other than YouTube the only social media element was Tumblr. With a simple web page the campaign’s simplicity is also its beauty. The track was released and within a day it was in the top 10 on the iTunes chart. The catchy tune and chorus are the type that you find yourself humming without realising it.

McCann Melbourne (the agency behind the campaign) added fuel to the fire by releasing a Karaoke version of the song. Soon the Internet was awash with parodies, which is a sure sign of an Internet success.

Evaluating campaign effectiveness

Dumb-Ways-to-DieYes, there have been over 44 million views of the video on YouTube, but we don’t know how many of those live within the Melbourne Metro area. Furthermore, has the campaign reached the bulls-eye target market of those people who may previously have crossed the tracks? Therefore evaluating whether the campaign reached its intended target market is not possible.

The only published statistics state that the campaign contributed to a more than 30% reduction in “near-miss” accidents from November 2012 to January 2013, compared with the same period the previous year. Public information campaigns like this are generally in for the long game, but if that initial success is sustained then it has indeed been a successful as well as memorable marketing campaign. Let’s hope that the campaign evolves to stay fresh and keep making an impact.

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Filed under Advertising, Digital, Great Marketing, Marketing, Social media, Strategy, Travel and Tourism

Marketing in a crisis – 5 steps to take

What should the marketing team do when a crisis hits that is external to your organisation? World events are outside of our control, but it is the marketing and communications team’s responsibility to act when a crisis hits.

This week with the horrific bombs in Boston it reminded me of occasions when I have had to respond to a crisis, which prompted me to write this blog post.  Recent examples from the world of advertising and media include Fox removing an episode of Family Guy from their website which could cause offence, Nike pulling their Oscar Pistorius adverts following his arrest, and Barclays pulling their advertising in the wake of the Libor scandal.

Whether the events are concerning your own organisation or external there are some essential steps that the marketing and communications team need to take. Unfortunately there are always natural or man-made crises that occur, so it pays to be ready to respond appropriately.

1. Review all current activity planned and booked

Starting with any activity that is live – review it to ensure that it is not likely to cause offense or be inappropriate given recent events. Consider the creative used, the copy, phrases used, your media choice etc. I once had a live campaign promoting leisure rail travel using the phrase ‘shops to die for’ when a rail crash resulted in fatalities. I did everything I could to get that campaign erased in case it caused offence.

Check your website – is there anything on there that could be inappropriate? Review your social media presence and don’t forget to review any scheduled messages, as the Daily Mirror have learned this week.

2. Form a crisis response team

Hopefully your organisation already has a crisis management team or draft contingency plan in place. If not, pull together a representative from all relevant areas – PR, customer communications and any operational areas that may need to be involved.  The benefit of cross working is that each area will have a slightly different perspective and raise new perspectives that will help you define an appropriate response.  Many of the actions may be practical steps to be taken internally, but inevitably there will be a communications angle that needs to be owned and delivered.

Do other teams around the organisation need manpower to support them? If your team can spare a few people to help answer the phones or be present on location then that is a great way to help customers and build internal bonds at the same time. I’ve done this myself many times and have always gained personally from the experience as well as providing a useful service to colleagues and customers.

3. Focus on customer information

Fast and accurate information is essential when the unexpected occurs. Brief but informative communications will go a long way to assisting any customers or stakeholders during a crisis.  Make use of immediate tools such as your company website, social media profiles, and PR contacts to issue information as appropriate. Email your customers and suppliers with information if necessary.

The tone of communication is critical at times of crisis – aim for humility and helpfulness.  Keep your organisation and its role in perspective. How important is it to sell widgets when there is a crisis in hand?!

Now’s not the time to cling desperately to creative brand values and the quality of paper you are using. Customers don’t care how glossy your leaflet is – they just want the right information at the right time.

4. Agree on a proactive communications strategy

Would your organisation benefit from a pro-active communications strategy in light of events? Tescos obviously felt so when they took out full page ads regarding the horse meat scandal.

Take care to get the tone and message right – no-one wants to hear about your organisation when there are bigger issues at stake.

5. Communicate internally

Once steps have been taken to review existing campaigns and plan new activity take the time to communicate what has been done internally. Colleagues across the organisation, not only your senior team, will want to know how you are responding to events.  Write clear, concise emails that spell out the steps that are being taken and when to expect a further update.  I’ve found that this is hugely appreciated and also avoids receiving a multitude of enquiries which could take up precious crisis-management time.

Marketing in a global village

Marketing and communications play a vital role in providing information at times of crisis. Given the immediacy of events regardless of where they occur there is every chance that customers and employees are personally affected by what has happened. It is essential that every marketing and communications professional is sensitive to and responds appropriately to events happening around us.

Roisin Kirby is an experienced Marketing Consultant based in Nottingham (UK), with experience spanning a range of service industries, particularly the education and travel sectors.

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Why content marketing is perfect for the travel industry

Since the days of the first dot.com boom the travel industry has been at the forefront of social and digital media. Despite this there are still travel companies out there who believe that online booking won’t work for them, or organisations who have failed to enter the social marketing space.

There are some persuasive arguments as to why the tourism & travel industry should embrace social media and content marketing as strategies to promote their services, raise brand awareness and generate bookings and a positive reputation. The key to success is finding the right strategy and implementation for your organization.

Let me see it through your eyes

Customer expectation of travel websites has evolved from the transactional to experiential. As well as being able to research a holiday or journey the user now expects to be able to imagine themselves there. Travel companies can achieve this through the use of visual media eg photography and video, and encouraging user reviews, which allow potential bookers to see what past visitors have experienced. Bookers use both official and unofficial channels to research and plan their trip as together they provide a more complete picture of the destination under consideration.

Every traveller is now a reporter – sharing their own visual content to give the ‘warts and all’ view of each location. At very least the booker expects to be able to scroll through a gallery of images and maybe even a 360 photo of each location – a single photo will no longer satisfy our appetite for visual media. Content always has and always will be king.

If you’re seeking evidence of this thirst for visual information – look to the rapid rise of Pinterest and Instagram, as well as Facebook’s latest redesign – which makes visual content even more important in their page layout.

global connectionsGoing social

A natural progression for travel marketing has been the social sharing of information. Status updates, holiday photos and even video make their way onto Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare and are shared across the world. Much of this sharing takes place via mobile devices. Harnessing this power enables travel brands to multiply their marketing budgets and enable information to spread faster than a well planned and executed marcomms campaign could ever do. This is word of mouth referral advertising for the digital age.

SEO should be your number one priority

A website optimized for natural search is every marketing manager’s number one action. However it is now thought in geek circles that Google Search’s latest algorythms are promoting content posted and shared on social networks even higher. The reach of your social network and the sharing you do to those networks will have a substantive, possibly massive, effect on your search traffic.

What can travel brands do to leverage social media?

Here are some essential steps for travel and leisure brands wanting to bring their digital strategy up to date:

1. Create official platforms for sharing. You need to have an authentic presence on all the relevant social networks. If you don’t set it up, a user might, and then you risk your brand being misrepresented by a (hopefully) well-meaning customer. Which social platforms you select will depend naturally on your target markets and marketing objectives. The most important networks for the travel and leisure industry are Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest, Youtube and Flikr, and blogging (eg WordPress or Blogger). The strategy for each will depend on your business and customer profile.

Connected2. Connect your social networks by cross linking so that your Twitter feed promotes your Facebook page and so on. Pinterest allows you to verify your web address so that it appears in your profile header. These administrative tasks are well worth the time as it demonstrates to Google’s robots that your social profiles are connected and that you are one and the same organisation.

3. Link your organisation’s official website to your social channels. Invite website visitors to connect with you and follow your updates. Even better, incorporate a feed of ‘latest tweets’ or ‘updates’ directly into your company website. Make sure your website is optimised for mobile or better still create a mobile version.

4. Create original content. Anyone can share existing content out there, but brands are in the ideal position of having access to the product or service themselves. Create stunning new photography, create a chalet host’s blog, present survey results as an infographic. Interesting, useful, engaging and most of all entertaining content is shared.

5. Ask users to share it. Word of mouth recommendations will happen regardless, but are vastly accelerated if we ask happy customers to share and recommend the service to their friends. When posting content ask your followers to share or comment – both of which will spread the word virally to their circles.

6. Create events – real or virtual online events and ask followers to join in. If you’re attending trade shows add those as events, or set up a live chat event for your followers.

7. Create unique content that is only available via each network. Competitions work well but have to involve the community and provide a worthwhile reward. Don’t fall foul of competition rules – check out my earlier post for info. Give your followers something special – a preview of a new video, or a discount code off their booking. If you reward their loyalty they will become brand ambassadors and do the hard work for you.

8. Don’t shout, listen to your customers instead. It is more important to engage with and converse with your social media followers than it is to keep pushing out messages to them. They may sometimes complain about your services, but that is fine. A sanitised social media channel will come across as entirely artificial. Listen to their comments, respond and take action in the real world. Learn when to respond to complaints posted on TripAdvisor and know when to leave alone.

9. Make it easy to research and book online. Customer expectations are that this should be possible, and the idea of waiting for a phone line to re-open could lose you valuable business. Ensure that the user journey for each process is as quick and simple as possible – remove redundant steps and only ask for data when it is needed.

Of course social media is only part of the digital marketing landscape, and any social media strategy has to be in synergy with your overarching marketing strategy. Customers will care about every interaction with your brand – from social media, to company website, to phone operative and everyone they meet along their journey. If any of these customer touchpoints are not up to scratch then it lets the whole customer experience down. So take the time to take a renewed look at your customer journey and the content you are sharing and consider where you can make a difference. This relatively small investment of time and budget will pay dividends in terms of future bookings.

Roisin Kirby is an experienced Marketing Consultant based in Nottingham (UK), with experience spanning a range of service industries, particularly the education and travel sectors.

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Filed under Blogging, Digital, Marketing, Mobile, Social media, Strategy, Travel and Tourism