CAMPAIGN: Butlins goes upmarket with timeshare scheme

In July 2006, Butlins announced that it was launching its first ever shared-ownership apartments, called Blue-Skies, at its resort in Minehead.

Butlins: launched its first ever luxury apartments, BlueSkies
Butlins: launched its first ever luxury apartments, BlueSkies

Campaign: Butlins goes timeshare
Client: Butlins (Bourne Leisure)
PR Team: Launch Group
Timescale: June-July 2006 and July-August 2007
Budget: Under £100,000

Based on a points purchasing system, this offered owners access to 24 suites, with concierge services, flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, DVDs, computer games, scented candles and coffee table books.


To launch the shared ownership apartments and explain the points scheme. To change consumer perceptions of Butlins and show how the firm is moving upmarket to offer luxury accommodation.

Strategy and plan

Initially, the holiday firm was determined to announce Disney-style ‘vacation apartments’. However, Launch Group felt this concept held little relevance in the UK, so introduced the idea of Butlins Timeshare, hoping consumers would distinguish the holiday firm’s high-quality offer from the much publicised foreign timeshare rackets of the 1980s and 1990s.

The story, straplined: ‘Thirty years of holidays at Butlins for just £6,000’, was initially released as an exclusive to the News of The World with artists’ impressions of the prospective BlueSkies

At the official launch in August, Lorraine Kelly cut the red tape, while Butlins MD Richard Bates and project director Mike Crowther mingled with journalists.

Measurement and evaluation
The announcement generated over 200 pieces of coverage, including six national TV items, eight national newspaper pieces and eight national radio items.

The official launch generated a further 100 pieces of coverage including full pages in The Guardian and the Daily Mirror and 25 radio interviews.

Butlins received more than 5,000 sales enquiries on day one of the announcement and before the development had been built, more than 50 families had purchased a piece of BlueSkies.

In the week following the launch, sales enquiries rose by 500 per cent.

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