Marketing campaigns from travel companies can easily pass consumers by with their cliched sea and sand imagery, accompanied by vague price promises that are rarely honoured.
For easyJet we needed to successfully cut through the holiday ‘noise’ with a real-time, data fuelled communication strategy, selling an extra 1.7 million seats.
In an over-supplied market, advertising from airlines tends to look the same with stock imagery of sun, sea and sand, along with price offers designed to deliberately confuse the consumer.
Heading into 2017 our job was to cut through the travel clutter to carve out a distinctive space for easyJet, so that we could drive brand consideration and in turn, sell an additional 1.7 million seats.
We knew from industry research that contextualised and relevant content drives campaign awareness, and importantly also increases purchase intent by +35% (Talon, 2016).
And by digging deeper into the wealth of data at our fingertips, we found that weather conditions played a big factor in inspiring people to jet off on a last minute trip. Whether it was fresh snow falling in ski resorts, or torrential rain soaking us Brits, we saw bookings increase by a staggering +67% on average during these periods. Clearly people were booking spontaneously when the weather conditions across Europe were just too good to ignore.
easyJet’s comms platform is called ‘Why Not?’ and embodies the ‘get up and go’ spirit of spontaneity and exploration. So, staying true to this adventurous view of the world, we embarked on a totally new approach for the brand, putting context at the very heart of our strategy.
By capitalising on spontaneous moments, our campaign was designed to reach our audience in the right mindset with content that would stand out from the competition, helping to build that all important connection with customers beyond competitive pricing.
We set out to create real-time and reactive contextual campaigns to entice our audience to say ‘Why not?’, embracing impulsive trips to Europe.
Every time a fresh flurry of snow landed in over 10 different ski resorts, we would turn on messaging pushing flights to the ski resort in real time, with tailored creative highlighting how many inches of snowfall had just landed on the slopes.
We utilised 40 high impact digital out-of-home screens nationally, meticulously selected for their proximity to concentrations of ski lovers. We also built paid social across Facebook and Instagram into the plan; both platforms we knew our audience use to find out about the latest snow conditions. And we used easyJet CRM data plus third-party credit card and email receipt data to identify in-market audiences on Facebook and Instagram who purchased a ski holiday last year.
Then for our major Summer campaign, we let our audience know when the temperature was ‘hotting up’ in bucket and spade destinations, using DOOH to highlight the difference between the typically chilly temperature in UK locations and our easyJet beach destination routes in real-time.
This agile, real-time approach also informed our always-on strand,
hijacking the news agenda for cultural cachet. So when news broke of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal wedding announcement we acted fast, creating print and OOH placements reminding the nation that there were still plenty of eligible European royal bachelors, which we positioned contextually next to the news story. Other events across our real-time, rapid response calendar included Eurovision, The UEFA Champions League derby and The Great British Bake Off/Take Off (!) finale on C4.