Avalon Waterways offers a vast range of luxury river cruise holidays across Europe, South America and the Far East.
Typically, river cruisers are 50 to 70-year-old affluent couples, who enjoy the finer things in life.
Using targeted TV advertising,
Avalon wanted to increase its share of this mushrooming market by eating into that of other operators, but without the large brand awareness budgets of those players. It also wanted to show those new to river cruising what a great experience awaits with Avalon.
It needed to identify and create a point of difference in a world of ‘me too’.
Not the person you conjure up in your head when someone says ’65 years old’, not even the people in river cruise brochures. The real people that go on a river cruise; busy, adventurous, curious and spirited - and often forgotten or miscommunicated to by advertisers.
We met them through Avalon’s extensive research and focus groups, and through the people who know them well – their travel agents.
Playing the role of potential customers, we headed out for some mystery shopping, when our perceptions of river cruises and river cruisers significantly shifted.
Many may be retired, but there is nothing retiring about them.
These guys know how to live; they holiday, regularly, they’ve seen more of the world than most, they’re busy, sporty, they love being outdoors, they love food, music and culture and they spend fun and active time with their families.
Their annual river cruise (sometimes more than one) is luxuriously packed full of great food and wine, enchanting excursions, history and culture. It’s a great experience among many others.
So, in what we discovered to be a fairly-flat market place, rather than get involved in some litany of luxury about whose suites were bigger and food more five star, we created a TV commercial to reflect the personality of typical Avalon river cruisers, and the fun, laid-back experience to be had on an Avalon river cruise.
IN JUST THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF THE CAMPAIGN, WEBSITE TRAFFIC HAS RISEN BY 22%, PPC IS SIGNIFICANTLY UP, AS ARE CALLS TO THE CONTACT CENTRE.
“The freshness of thought and creativity excited the whole organisation; when I played the final cut of the TV ad at a grand reveal to staff, it was met by a spontaneous round of applause!
Working with the Caroline team has been a real pleasure; it has felt like a genuine partnership, and in my experience that’s rare in terms of a client/agency relationship.”
Marketing and E-Commerce Director,