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First Choice Holidays ‘Splash!’ PR campaign

First Choice Holidays ‘Splash!’ PR campaign

Runner up in Tactical PR category at the CIM Travel Marketing Awards 2010.

BRIEF

First Choice knows just how important having a great pool is to kids on holiday and carried out some research that showed that a staggering 92% of children said that they were in the pool every single day of their holiday.

Over 46% said they spent nearly all of their holiday swimming and a huge 60% said swimming was their favourite thing to do, putting it well above sightseeing, playing on the beach and even eating their favourite foods while on holiday.

The ‘Splash’ hotel collection was introduced as a new product concept featuring hotels in popular sun resorts which all have a water-park on site. These water-parks are free of charge and boast unlimited access for our customers.

They all feature top notch slides such as Sidewinders, Bowls, Boomerangos, Wave Pools, Lazy Rivers and they cater for all members of the family. Splash Hotels were introduced to the existing brochure collection, but highlighted by a dedicated logo.

Our brief was to reinforce First Choice’s ‘family expertise’ and promote the new Splash Resorts during the key booking period at the start of 2009.

RATIONALE

We created a story about how First Choice had appointed a ‘Cool Pool Tester’ (Tommy Lynch, Product Lifestyle Manager) who had travelled 27,000 miles to find the best kids pools in the world. His job involves checking the height, speed, water quantity and landing of the flumes as well as all the safety aspects.

Photo opportunities, releases and radio interviews followed and the story was issued between Christmas and New Year when there is often a lack of good news stories around.

To help Tommy in his quest for the best properties to join the ‘Splash’ collection, the First Choice Cool Pool Board of Directors was then established after a nationwide competition to find seven lucky children to become Junior Directors.

All the advice provided by the children has been incorporated into a First Choice Splash Resort specification check list, which all hotels with Splash Resort potential will be judged against. There’s also the possibility of their ideas being included in a future First Choice pool in a new build hotel.

CONSTRAINTS

Budget! We wanted to generate a large amount of coverage, but budgets were limited.

RESULTS


The campaign was a massive success, between Christmas and New Year there was widespread coverage in news pages of national press with pictures of Tommy going down a water-slide, as well as in a number of cases, photos of some of our most  popular hotels.

Tommy appeared on 15 different radio stations talking about his job and the best places to go on holiday if you are looking for a good pool.

The second phase of the campaign generated significant coverage of the ‘Cool Board of Directors’ in regional and children’s press.

In total the campaign generated 35 items of press coverage and 15 radio items with a reach of 32,695,000.

As a direct result of the PR campaign, a dedicated ‘Splash’ brochure was launched featuring caricatures of Tommy. Tommy has rated each water park with his own Splash-O-Meter – giving marks out of ten for speed and thrill factor.

The score out of 10 is a combination of how many body slides, speed slides, multi-lane slides, tube slides, feature slides, lazy rivers, wave pools and kids slides each hotel has. A logo also has been created for each type of slide and this sits on each hotel page in the brochure.

Many of the ‘Splash’ hotels have exceeded sales expectations.

See the TV behind the campaign below

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