First Choice looks for brand awareness boost with ‘brave’ new campaign

The TUI-owned holiday brand hopes a campaign featuring a rapping family and helmed by a director who has worked with Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran will help it win sales in the all-inclusive market.

First Choice is looking to stand out in the fiercely competitive new year holiday market with a two-minute ad featuring a rapping family helmed by a director who has worked with Beyonce and Ed Sheeran.

The TUI-owned brand is looking to inject a youthful verve into its communication with the spot. The hope is that strategy will win it a larger slice of the all-inclusive market, which accounts for about 60% of the package holiday sector.

The ad features a family rapping the virtues of First Choice’s all-inclusive offer, a far cry from the usual all-inclusive ads featuring happy families experiencing the different activities they have paid for up front.

Jeremy Ellis, TUI UK and Ireland’s marketing and customer experience director, tells Marketing Week the ad, created by Y&R London, is an attempt to claim maximum share of voice at a time when every tour operator in the UK is trying to grab the attention of holiday makers. He says: “The ad really brings out the personality of First Choice in a fun way – a bit of cheekiness, a bit of youthfulness – which we thought was important to differentiate First Choice.

He adds: “Y&R’s brief was: ‘a) we need to own all-inclusive; b) we want to stand out; and c) we want to make First Choice a brighter, more fun, more useful brand. On a scale of one to five in terms of bravery we want you to think of this as a five’.

“We wanted them to come back with something that was brave and that made us a bit nervous. When they came back with the concept of a rap, we thought this is quite brave but it’s great and the people we have shown it to here [at TUI] love it and we have done some research with consumers and they love it too so we think it’s going to work really well.”

We have seen a decline in brand awareness. That hasn’t led to a decline in sales so we think the brand is pretty robust but what I have said to the board is we need to invest, grow awareness to grow share.

Jeremy Ellis, TUI

The 120-second ad will run on TV in shorter form and elements will also be used in social activity. TV will also be supported with radio, cinema and print activity. Ellis says the splash that TV makes is still an essential component to stand out and communicate its proposition.

“TV is still so powerful in terms of the number of people that can be reached and the way it can present your brand. There’s a lot of emotion bound up in choosing your holiday and video is the best way to get that emotion across. It’s a pretty intangible product so just one picture can only say so much”.

Despite First Choice selling more than a million holidays and being in its fourth decade, increasing brand awareness ranks alongside volume sales as a key performance indicator.

Ellis adds: “Over the last five years or so First Choice, in term of its presence, has been declining. There are no First Choice shops anymore [standalone First Choice branded shops were phased out from 2012] and we have seen a decline in brand awareness. That hasn’t led to a decline in sales so we think the brand is pretty robust but what I have said to the board is we need to invest, grow awareness to grow share.”

The new campaign is part of a dual brand strategy to grab as much of the package holiday market as possible. A huge campaign for the TUI brand launched in October both to communicate the benefits of its offer and press home its rebrand from Thomson.

The First Choice ad will be launch on 22 December when a 90-second edit will be shown in cinemas. The unedited version will break during The Great British Bake Off on Christmas Day.

Media planning and buying was handled by Mediacom.

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