Campaign: Second Opinion

Geoff Saltmarsh, MD of the Saltmarsh Partnership, has worked with the Hong Kong Tourist Board

Think travel PR and press trips come to mind all too readily. That's not to say that it's wrong to give journalists the opportunity to see at first hand the client's destination, but there must be an element of caution when trotting out a campaign that's in danger of looking like a one-trick pony.

Frank & Earnest was spot on with educating the British public about what Iceland has to offer. And when you're working with an airline with plenty of 'free' seats to dish out, it's obvious you can generate coverage by taking the press there.

And the agency really scored well with some of its angles for trips.

Miss Iceland, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Blowers at the cricket. Excellent twists to give a celebrity edge to core messages.

The extent of the coverage looks meaty, too, and certainly at a level one would expect if the client is investing the sort of commitment Iceland Express showed with all those tickets. But it would be naive to believe that no one would pick up on the fact that Iceland is an expensive destination. It would, therefore, be counter-productive to pitch it at a budget-travel audience.

I would have liked to have seen a more rounded campaign, less dependent on media trips. Where were the other PR tools to get Iceland talked about on radio and TV? Previews of quirky Icelandic events, even competition prizes?

It will be interesting to see how the campaign evolves, particularly as the agency is said to be switching from a focus on the destination to the airline. When you have a carrier called Iceland Express that flies only to Iceland, it's hard to see what its unique selling point is in aviation terms.

Creativity: 3

Delivery: 4


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