Early spring is the busiest time of year for Contiki Canada as the last round of early payment discount pricing is rolled out in a big push to get bookings for coveted seats on a Contiki group tour. Through all channels including organic social, paid sponsored posts on social media, web banners, travel agent brochures and an online campaign landing page, I lead the team to execute all marketing communication for one of the most publicized campaigns from Contiki Canada in recent years.
- Gabrielle Nydam, President of Contiki Canada
For Canadian millenials travelling to Europe for the first time can be a daunting experience and Contiki's mission is to make travel an experience that changes your perspective and broadens your horizons. The most powerful way travel does this for young people is by meeting fellow travelers on your journey. In the past, Contiki had always capitalized on the experience a young traveler will have while on the trip, but hadn't capitalized on the other wonderful results of travel: the people you meet and the relationships you form.
In order to get the global marketing team on board with the Canadian campaign, we brainstormed the tactics to pitch the campaign concept through a presentation sharing our creative insight and preliminary executions. I was tasked with designing the pitch deck, sourcing appropriate photography to set the brand filter using the Contiki Image Library, and applying the brand aesthetic to let the message shine through in a way that would resonate with Canadian millenial audiences.
Taking the polaroid idea and putting a Contiki spin on it, we wanted the campaign to have a unique brand stamp that would make it easily recognizable through all the channels as prospects were retargeted through the duration of the campaign. Using the outline icon style from the Contiki Brand, I developed a simple stamp that would appear on all of the marketing for the life of the campaign.
Having a dedicated landing page for all campaign traffic to land on was essential to the campaign success. We reimagined the landing page to tie in the multitude of trips for each region as part of the theme of the many relationships you will have on a Contiki tour. From bae to bestie, crush to sidekicks and everything in between all of the many faces of Contiki pals were represented.
To further highlight each of these relationships, a video montage using outtakes of pre-existing footage into this relationship became a narrative for the hero video used in paid and organic social posts. Placed throughout the landing pages were short ambient videos for each relationship and destination theme. Instead of highlighting just the destination, cute and quirky icons and punchy copy called out the best trip highlights you could imagine experiencing with your travel partner of choice.
On top of design and layout using existing components in the Contiki site design language, I developed the landing page in SiteCore and customized objects with some CSS trickery to expand the visual languge without increasing the custom development timelime to bring this to life.
Contiki is famous for using quizes to engage their audience to win a coveted free Contiki Trip to Europe each summer as a way to connect with millenials dreaming of their first foray over the pacific. Instead of recyling old and tired quizes, we had the idea to get people to share their favourite travel memories through a UGC portal to spread the personal positive moments anyone has about travelling without alienating the audience that had not yet been able to leave Canadian soil just yet.
Using the concept of polaroids as snapshots through time, we engaged Canadians ages 18 - 35 to share their favourite memory with someone they would love to travel with or their favourite story with a travel buddy to win a trip to Europe.
The UGC campaign had to be integrated through clever social media hashtags to share in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and get peoples friends to sign up. I was tasked with finding the platform that would give us all the capabilies we needed to host it, and develop the front-end look and feel to gather entries, and share on all Contiki platforms including the eCommerce website.
The campaign garned over 14.9k visits, collecting over 800 contest entries.
As with most traditional digital campaigns Contiki relied heavily on conversions from display banners to book first time passengers and really grab people with the value proposition of a trip discount price. I developed a suite of digital banners and social posts using the campaign look and feel across all platforms.
In addition to paid media, our social channels were used to spread the message about amazing trip highlights in Europe. Using simple iconography and graphical typography, we created shareable content getting our audience to imagine the memories they could make on a Contiki.
Direct advertising is not the only tool Contiki uses. With the power that travel agents have in selling Contiki to adventure seekers, every campaign issues a custom trip promo flyer, poster, and other miscellanious items out to travel consortia and partners to keep Contiki top of mind for sales agents across the country.
Every year Contiki reaches out to past passengers with an extra special discount program to get repeat business through direct mail. My idea was to design a direct mail piece that people would actually hold onto and not be tempted to dump it straight into the trash. Instead of a standalone flyer, I produced an extra "gift card" stuck to the promo paper for customers to keep in their wallet for the year so they could refer back to it when they were ready to apply their discount code at a later date.
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