First Choice abandons all-inclusive positioning to make it ‘more relevant’

First Choice is moving away from its all-inclusive positioning to focus on price as it looks to ensure the First Choice and TUI brands are distinct in the market.

First Choice is abandoning its all-inclusive positioning in favour of a focus on price in order to make the brand ‘more relevant’.

The brand is looking to create a distinct positioning separate from its parent company TUI after its own research found that more consumers buy all-inclusive holidays from TUI than First Choice. That means it is getting rid of its ‘Go Mahoosive with the All Inclusive’ positioning in favour of a focus on good value.

The new campaign, created by VMLY&R, focuses on low prices and will launch on Boxing Day (26 December) during ITV’s premiere of Skyfall. It aims to differentiate First Choice from TUI more in the mind of consumers.

The ‘Ridiculously good value’ ad shows different scenes, including flying sumo wrestlers, a jet ski-driving merman and Cleopatra feeding prawns to a ventriloquist’s dummy.

TUI’s brand and content director Toby Horry tells Marketing Week: “Customers want flexibility in their holiday – some want more choice – so it felt like it was less relevant to focus on one type of holiday [in all inclusive].”

The brand carried out “huge amounts” of customer research in order to identify key segments in the travel market and ensure TUI and First Choice were appealing to different types of travellers.

Horry explains: “There is a subset of customers who are very price-focused in the market and therefore we looked at how we use the two brands differently. We are going to make First Choice the more price-focused brand but also increase the range [of holidays] that is available within.”

Trying to have one brand do everything in that market is going to be very hard. We’re better off having two brands doing two distinct jobs in the market.

Toby Horry, TUI

He adds: “Success is making sure we attract the right customer to the right brands; more quality-focused customers to TUI and price-focused to First Choice.”

The new positioning is a clear departure from First Choice’s previous campaigns, which have heavily focused on all-inclusive. However, Horry is clear that despite the change the new position is a more strategic move.

“It felt that trying to do all of the jobs in a market [wouldn’t work]. It’s one of those jobs where when someone asks ‘who is your competitor set?’ it’s quite a difficult question to answer because you have the immediate package holidays competitors – Virgin Holidays etc – to Airbnb to staycations to train travel.

“Trying to have one brand do everything in that market is going to be very hard. We’re better off having two brands doing two distinct jobs in the market.”

EasyJet promises to ‘disrupt’ package holidays with brand launch

Horry says the market has not changed significantly despite EasyJet’s move to offer package holidays and Thomas Cook’s high-profile collapse. He admits that Thomas Cook’s collapse did lead to an increase in sales for the brand but says it hasn’t negatively impacted consumers’ perception of package holidays.

He adds: “The Thomas Cook episode was terrible, particularly for those people employed and those people who missed out on their holidays, and it was sad for the category. But what it did demonstrate was the benefits of ATOL protection and that if a package holiday goes wrong, there is a level of protection.”

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