Friday, December 15, 2006

Why spend millions on TV advertising?

In some respects you’ve got to hand it to Travelsupermarket as it continues its relentless strategy of brand building via the offline media.

As reported here, Travelsupermarket will be splashing out £11 million in 2007 on a huge marketing campaign, with £8 million going just on TV.

The interesting point to all this is the absolute faith the Cheshire-based company has in the strategy.

In fact the unflappable Chris Nixon, Travelsupermarket’s general manager, more often than not casually brushes aside any remarks about an apparent over-reliance on TV advertising.

Many online-only brands have adopted this approach in the past, and it has often paid off, at least initially – ESure, Egg, Ebay.

But this is the first time that an online travel company has followed through a initial burst of TV advertising with a far bigger (the 2006 TV campaign totaled around £2.5 million) level of spend.

There are clearly many reasons for the ongoing marketing programme: despite the growing popularity of the vertical travel search engine sector, many industry figures suspect Travelsupermarket will feel a hit of some kind when the traction behind new players Sidestep and Kayak really kicks in during early-2007.

In fact it would be fair to say that of the two, Sidestep has generated a fair amount of buzz in industry circles, primarily for its functionality and content.

And if leading industry figures are a decent enough benchmark of what will also perhaps enthuse consumers, then Travelsupermarket’s strategy is spot on.

Raise the traffic volume bar by getting in the minds of consumers, during the Christmas and New Year holiday break, and hope some of the traffic sticks in the long run by also improving its content and functionality.

Travolution is probably not alone in predicting 2007 could be the year that meta search/travel search truly comes to the fore.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Watch the meta search guys battle it out, spend millions and then realise the margins are not there. Great for consumers but poor for business unless online conversions improve.