Price and Product TVC's no longer HOT

Published: Fri 13 Oct 2006 09:18 AM
Price and Product TVC's no longer HOT
House of Travel is again revolutionising the way it is advertising with its new 60 second television (TVC) campaign set to launch on Sunday 15 October.
Marketing director for House of Travel, Chris Sutton says that it is time to inspire viewers particularly given New Zealanders' love of stories.
"The consumer is absolutely bombarded with price and product advertisements every day and there is little differentiating the companies advertising this way. What we wanted to do was produce a TVC that does position us differently to our competitors and one that had some longevity. What better story to tell than one about travel."
House of Travel's TVC's will entice viewers by providing more information about specific destinations. Set around a typical Kiwi dinner party, the infamous Miss Lucy will inspire and enthral her guests as she provides them with what Sutton describes as the 'little gems' that make a holiday a great experience.
"Everyone knows about and is likely to visit the Eiffel Tower when in Paris but what about finding out about that special hotel to stay in with the owners who love Kiwis, or a quaint little café to have your petit-déjeuner at, which looks across to the Eiffel Tower? These are the things that our customers talk about when they come back home."
Sutton says customers today are hungry for more information, stemmed by the internet and easy access to information.
"The internet has revolutionised our industry. We are now dealing with a much more informed, savvy customer who wants much more than flights and a place to stay. It is our job to make sure the products we have available are relevant to our various customers' needs and most importantly work for Kiwis, because Kiwis see the world quite differently to other cultures."
House of Travel's advertising agency, at the time Meares Taine (now Ogilvy) introduced Miss Lucy in 2001 in a pantomime advertisement which was a minute long and cost $1m to produce. Sutton says it was a huge risk at the time as again they were the first travel brand to try something different.
"We were the first in the travel industry to develop a brand advertisement with no mention of product or price and it paid off. Kiwis young and old, male and female loved Miss Lucy, she is very 'girl next door', which New Zealanders like."
Within 12 months of the first airing sales had increased by 21% and that increase has continued to a staggering 220% today.
Sutton said it had been a while since Miss Lucy had been on television, partly because the cost of television had escalated.
"We are speaking more directly to our customers these days which is cost effective and has the ability to be targeted depending on a customer's individual needs. When we decided to do the TVC we knew it had to be different. It is very exciting, I can't wait for it to launch."
Sutton says the first TVC is all about setting the scene of what's to come on Miss Lucy's travels.
The TVC will air on TV1 and TV3 at 6.50pm from Sunday to Thursday with a different UK or European destination featured each week. The campaign builds as the dinner party progresses for close to seven weeks which includes teaser advertisements which began on Thursday.ENDS
The House of Travel Group has forecasted turnover in 2006 in excess of $700m, it has 90 retail outlets (with specialist corporate and leisure travel outlets) throughout New Zealand, its own award winning aggregated booking website and two wholesale companies (both inbound and outbound). It employs in excess of 1,100 people and is privately owned (by New Zealander Chris Paulsen) and operated since it was established in 1987.

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