Traditional travel magazines have been doing the same job for decades, but are limited by the medium itself which provides little interaction with the reader, no multimedia engagement, an indirect route to gain further information, and inaccurate tracking.
Plus production, printing and fulfilment are expensive and time-consuming. While paper magazines still have their place for some consumers, Thomas Cook wanted the latest interactive online travel publication to grab attention in a competitive market and provide important inspiration for interested travellers.
Digital creative agency, BigKid
provided Thomas Cook with Holiday Hotspots
, the first travel magazine to be designed as an online experience. The key objective, the first of its kind in this marketplace, was to create it as a direct response mechanism to build revenue rather than a branding exercise, which resulted in a conversion rate rise of 40%.Holiday Hotspots digital magazine, by BigKid for Thomas Cook
Thomas Cook says no-one else has done this with travel magazines. Holiday Hotspots is the first to be designed specifically to exist online and as an eCommerce vehicle to drive customers to our website. The results speak for themselves – not just a major uplift in clickthroughs and conversion rates, but building the base for repeat business and loyalty to the Thomas Cook brand.
Ed Pettit, Creative Director at BigKid said: “Today’s consumers expect targeted digital delivery of newsletters and brochures with immediate clickthrough – and travel magazines are no exception. With Holiday Hotspots, we created not just a digital magazine, but an online experience which dovetails seamlessly into website booking infrastructure."
Thomas Cook’s objective was to present their customers with valuable and interactive content. The first edition of Holiday Hotspots was innovative, as it contained relevant content (such as resort features and aspirational imagery), video footage including interviews with customers, and clickable editorial features. For example, the Interactive Calendar offered month by month editorial and video advice on where to go and why. All features prompted the user to click through to bookable landing pages on www.thomascook.com
A spokesperson for Thomas Cook commented: Whilst there have been many attempts to digitise holiday brochures and implement successful commercial email campaigns, our intention with Holiday Hotspots was to send our customer database much more than just an online brochure or a standard offer-filled email; we wanted to offer our customer database something of real content value.
Bringing all the elements together created a compelling campaign to sell tracked inventory, importantly incorporating selling ‘hot buttons’ - such as informative copy, attractive visuals, info on key destinations, video and games, immediate click-through to relevant booking pages of the website. "an online experience which dovetails seamlessly" into online booking
The interactive gaming is another innovative idea in the travel market and provides good interaction with the brand. As no plug-ins are required to play, it fits with the magazine’s easy to use and navigate approach.
Holiday Hotspots paid for itself many times over, easily outperforming other campaigns, and is directly measureable in terms of website click-throughs and conversions.
The first issue of the magazine resulted in 50,000 visits from unique users a month after it was sent out, with clickthrough rates to www.thomascook.com
of 53.5%. ‘Conversion from clickthrough’ rate for issue 1 was 40% higher than for regular commercial emails. The multichannel, multimedia nature of the interactive magazine creates an engaging medium for customers and adds value to their online experience.
BigKid worked together as a team to project manage the campaign and ensure all the elements worked together and the finished publication met the brief. BigKid provided the games, video and flash work for the calendar. Ceros provided the digital magazine platform, design and layout.
The Group has significant experience in delivering publications and creatives across the publishing, retailing, e-commerce sectors. The above approach could be redeployed for any form of brochure, especially linking through to product pages on an e-commerce web site.
“The travel market is a tough environment, particularly in the current climate, therefore any channel that can provide cost-effective, innovative and targeted communications to engage with a customer base is a must. We're proud that the end result has exceeded all expectations”
Thomas Cook is planning new similar campaigns in the coming months.
BigKid are an innovative digital creative agency. We design and produce interactive experiences using web, video and online magazines for large brands, media owners and online retailers.
More information at www.bigkidlondon.com
Ceros: Publish – Interact – Engage
The world’s most advanced digital publication platform Ceros is the most advanced digital publication platform in the world. Ceros clients use rich media to create high impact digital publications that encourage engagement and drive revenue. Our clients are publishers and marketers operating in all the major industries across the world.
• As a publishing platform: With over 1 million opens of Ceros magazines every week, readership in every one of the 192 countries on Earth and major brands creating advertising content specially for the format, Ceros is the defacto standard for interactive online magazine publishing. The top publishers use Ceros including BBC, Haymarket, Bauer, Dennis and RBI.
• As a marketing vehicle: readers of Ceros digital publications interact with your content, your brand and take action. Rich media functionality supports data collection and personalization, API integration with web sites allows real time content updates all tracked with the most comprehensive reporting suite available. Marketing campaigns using Ceros digital publications far exceed campaign expectations and are being used by direct marketers in companies including Sears, Thomas Cook, Virgin, Tesco and Ford.
For more information, please visit www.ceros.com
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