CAMPAIGNS: Rapid search brings hits for TravelJungle - Consumer PR

Client: TravelJungle.co.uk PR Team: Communique PR Campaign: Launch of TravelJungle's UK website Timescale: October 2003 Budget: less than £10,000

TravelJungle.co.uk is an online flight comparison system that was launching into an already crowded marketplace. It would be competing against more established sites, such as cheapflights, lastminute.com and Travelocity.

Objectives

To highlight TravelJungle's claim that it could save users time and money over its competitors. To drive customers to the website and ensure the number who used it was higher than the recently launched German version. To communicate TravelJungle's point of difference: that, as a flight comparison system, it does not sell flights, but searches through a number of websites for the best available flight price.

Strategy and Plan

The site had been developed to search 30 other sites within a 60 second time-frame and, according to its own claims, is the only one to cover major airlines, budget airlines and travel agents. It also only presents the cheapest flights that are still available.

The PR team decided the only way to ensure that TravelJungle's claims could stand up to scrutiny was to prove it, and opted to commission independent research from Fresh Minds.

It tested the service against eight competitor sites and across seven different flights, and found that, on average, TravelJungle was £31 cheaper.

There was one case where this did not happen, with the site being £1.40 more expensive than Expedia.co.uk.

Using these findings, press releases were composed and sent out to travel writers in the national, regional and trade press. The first was a basic announcement of the launch, the second a breakdown of the findings. To maintain the integrity of the report, the Expedia case was also included.

Once the press releases had been sent out, the next phase was the traditional sell-in.

Measurement and Evaluation

Seven nationals carried the story, including The Sunday Times, the Daily Express, The Guardian, the Sunday Mirror, The Sun and The Observer.

It was also featured in 12 regional titles, including the Liverpool Daily Post and the Birmingham Post. Eight trade titles, such as the Travel Trade Gazette, Travel Bulletin and Business Traveller, plus five travel news websites, including Travelmole.com, also ran the story.

Results

During November, 130,000 unique users accessed Travel-Jungle, a figure that took its German sister site two years to achieve. Furthermore, one and a quarter million page impressions were recorded, and total visitors to date are more than 19 million.

Press coverage was positive because the site actually did what it promised: save time and money.

A reporter from The Observer commented: 'When we tested it, we found that Travel-Jungle did in fact come in the cheapest.'

Elsewhere, The Sunday Times reported that the site was speedy and easy on the eye, and produced some impressive results.

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