FROM CHEAP AND CHEERFUL TO ‘A BRAND THAT REALLY GETS ME’

How unashamedly championing mainstream British travellers put On the Beach in the top consideration set for package beach holidays

On the Beach was born in 2004 as a start-up and in the space of just a few years became the number 3 operator in short-haul beach holidays, behind TUI and Jet2. 

Driven by its ambition to become the no.1 beach holiday provider, the brand decided to up its offer for the 2022 summer season, adding a couple of great free perks to its 4 and 5 star holidays: free fast-track and free lounge access at the airport.

Quiet Storm started working with On the Beach in summer 2021, as both a strategic and creative partner, tasked with delivering a distinctive campaign to help the brand steal share from its key competitors.

Challenge

On the Beach plays in a very competitive and commoditised category, where standing out is extremely difficult. Communication is dominated by images of beaches, swimming pools, and happy, smiley families. Brand misattribution is the norm. 

Add to this the COVID-19 pandemic, which not only disproportionately affected the category but also changed our relationship with travel, at least in the short term. As people started to consider going on holiday abroad again, they leaned toward more established and trustworthy operators that made them feel safer and less at risk of losing money due to uncertainty. Plus, having not travelled for a long time, they were willing to spend a bit more to make sure they had the best possible time and could forget all the pain of the pandemic and the lockdowns. This, again, was likely to favour traditional tour operators. 

Because of all the above, OTB needed to drive trust and great value for money in order to beat its key competitors.

Insight

Our target audience was the mainstream British traveller. The ones that sometimes get negative press and are associated with extreme, annoying behaviour when on holiday abroad. 

What became clear to us is how important that one week or two weeks in the sun are for our target audience. They work hard for 50 or 51 weeks a year and make huge sacrifices to be able to go on holiday and allow their family to have a great time. They dream of the holiday for most of the year and they are incredibly proud to be able to afford it.

No surprise, then, that they want to squeeze every grain of fun out of the beach. That they want to be free, let their hair down, forget the rules, and be silly when they feel like it. To be honest, they have truly, bloody earned it. 

Strategy & Approach

There is great simplicity in the name ‘On the Beach’. It does what it says on the tin. It is unpretentious and down to earth. And so is the brand itself. 

As such, we felt that it was perfectly placed to take on the role of consumer champion, to be ‘the beach holiday for the every man (and every woman!)’. 

We wanted On the Beach to be the brand that showed true understanding of mainstream British travellers, that celebrated them and their holiday quirks. And, because of that, to also be the brand that knows how to make people’s holidays truly great. Which is where the free fast-track and free lounge access perks perfectly fit in. 

Solution

We hijacked Christmas. Because for our target audience it definitely is not the most wonderful time of the year. The beach holiday is by far the most exciting time for them.  

With the campaign launching on Christmas day, we put a spin on Andy Williams’ Classic Christmas song, re-writing the lyrics to show that On the Beach understands that your beach holiday is the most wonderful time of the year (and it makes it so). 

We created 3 TV ads, one for brand and two others promoting the free fast track and lounge access perks. 

We featured the same family in all the ads, showing them unashamedly enjoying their holidays and the free perks and engaging in fun behaviours that made the viewer smile and identify with them. 

As part of the launch day we created a 40” of the brand ad which led with a 10” introduction from Sir Trevor McDonald voicing that ‘the Most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner’. This aired between 9 and10pm on Christmas day, so to remind people that Christmas may be over but the best time is yet to come. 

Results

The campaign was amazingly well received. Campaign recognition and brand attribution were higher than average and higher than the previous ‘Ready when you are campaign’. 

Prompted ad awareness shifted from 13% pre-campaign to 28% post-campaign.

Ad recognition and branded recognition were 54% and 23% respectively, vs. 30% and 12% respectively for the previous campaign.

Spontaneous brand awareness rose from 16% to 25% post campaign; and familiarity with the brand grew from 54% to 58%.

Significant increases were seen also in brand consideration - from 44% to 49%.

Importantly, brand consideration increased for users of all key competitive brands, with more and more people putting On the Beach in their top 3 holiday providers. 

Key message recall was very high, with 40% of people remembering the ‘perks’ benefit. 

Response to the campaign was also overwhelmingly positive, and the ads resonated very strongly with the key target audience, driving the perception of On The Beach being ‘for people like me’. 

The majority of viewers appreciated the fact that the campaign portrayed a real, relatable family and agreed that it shows a sense of humour, is memorable, different, and likeable. 

It positioned OTB as a fun brand that understands what holidays mean to people and what people really want from their time on the beach.

Spontaneous brand awareness rose from 16% to 25% post campaign; and familiarity with the brand grew from 54% to 58%.

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On The Beach

From cheap and cheerful to 'a brand that really gets me': How unashamedly championing mainstream British travellers put On the Beach in the top consideration set for package beach holidays

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