Travelocity opts for ‘aggressive’ tactics

Online travel retailer Travelocity has revamped its media relations strategy as it launches an ad blitz featuring veteran travel journalist Alan Whicker this week.

The online holiday booking firm, whose rivals include Expedia, has replaced Countrywide Porter Novelli with Exposure on the UK brief.

Marketing director Charlotte Harper said the move was part of ‘an entire rework of our marketing and media strategy’. She added: ‘I want it to be more aggressive. We are looking at guerrilla work, which is still being developed.’

Harper said she also wanted this year’s media relations work to focus more on making senior staff and experts at the company available to journalists for general comment about the travel and holiday sectors.

Exposure board director Mark Stringer said the agency’s work over the year-long duration of the contract would include attempts to increase brand awareness at popular times for holidays, such as Valentine’s Day and the Easter break.

He said the first major task was to generate interest in the media in January to run alongside the Whicker adverts, which have been created by Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy and carry the slogan ‘hello world’. The agency replaced St Luke’s.

Despite gaining some mentions this week in the specialist marketing and online press, the Whicker adverts have arguably been overshadowed by a US campaign launched this week by Travelocity and based on French film Amélie.

Harper insisted: ‘I don’t think it has been overshadowed. It was felt to be an appropriate campaign for the US.’ She added the Whicker campaign had already gained coverage in The Independent and on Radio Five Live.

CPN will continue to handle Travelocity’s European PR account.

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