Source: BigDatr, Hello World, Global 2020 Sale campaign
Source: BigDatr, Traveller, If You Can't Visit Here Right Now, Visit Us
Let's preface by saying it would be remiss of us not to address the decimating impact COVID-19 has had on the Travel industry. With any departure from Australia currently on hold, and even regional travel prohibited, the industry faces a sea change like never before.
How brands respond to this unforeseen adversity during this time will likely define their ability to recover once the infrastructure is back in place and health risks at bay. With Traveller the sentiment is kept positive, with an aspirational feel, driving consumers to take action online and keep up to date with news - as well as potential deals for when the market opens up again. Hello World have interspersed Retail advertising promoting local, Australian travel to boost the economy with more supportive, reassuring messaging with Here For You Today. Tomorrow. Always.
What this does bring the consumer is quite a confused state of affairs across the industry - and erratic spending in support of this fluctuation also.
Source: BigDatr, and SMI, Nov 2019 - March 2020, Media Value, Travel & Accommodation Portals
Taking a look at the Travel & Accommodation category in-platform we can see media spend across Travel Portals dropped dramatically by C. $9m from Dec 2019 to Jan 2020. Although traditionally a slower time of year for the travel industry the impact of the COVID-19 travel bans will likely mean a crawl back to a level of 'healthy' spending; still impossible to climb to the $9m seen in his category in March 2019.
With that in mind, this category still benefits from a diverse spend across media channels. Given the audience is so broad, capturing people in moments across their day when they are receptive is key. With the consumer journey evermore fragmented the traditional brand-builders of TV and Out of Home stake their claim with significant share (60% and 15% respectively for Jan 2020) working in tandem with the immediacy of Digital, and Newspapers addressing the more traditional audience set.
The Australian-based travel agency invested $1.28m to kick of the year in Jan 2020 with its Global Sale - more than 3 x the investment of the prominent campaigns by Travel Associates and Flight Centre in the same period.
Using high-frequency broadcast channels (TV and Radio) alongside appearances on travel-specific digital sites and a broad Newspaper buy. Flooding the market at this time of year would likely have been a beneficial strategy to encourage a short, sharp sales spike if travel conditions had not been sadly curbed due to the current climate.
*Period tested March 2019 - March 2020 (inclusive)
** Feb 2020 numbers are currently a partial read