‘Cruising, train travel, visits to Disneyland and self-drive road trips are proving to be popular experiences people want to tick off their bucket list,’ says Tim Paulsen, House of Travel e-commerce and digital channels director. ‘We are intrigued to see if these destinations and experiences continue to trend with those who engage with the campaign. We will use the insight we get from the campaign to form future activity and provide relevant offers and information to suit our customers.’ The campaign centres around a microsite betterbucketlist.co.nz, where customers can discuss their bucket list dreams with HOT’s Lucy. Customers can then share their bucket list with friends and family and enter a competition to win $20,000 towards their bucket list holiday. The aims of the interactive, digital component to HOT’s wider ‘Better Together’ brand activity is twofold, explains Paulson.
‘Firstly, we want to understand what Kiwis’ bucket list destinations are, and secondly encourage people to think about their aspirational travel destinations and experiences. This bucket list campaign is different from most, in that HOT will be adding value via bucket list recommendations to help showcase the value of Better Together. We aim to provide the support and expertise required for our customers to achieve their travel dreams.’ Meanwhile, HOT’s Better Together brand campaign featuring the return of Lucy ‘has exceeded all expectations,’ says Celeste Ryall, House of Travel customer engagement director. ‘Our sales are well ahead of budget – online enquiry is up 36%, telephone enquiry is up 46%, we are particularly pleased to see new passenger growth up 17%. Our consultants are exceptionally busy and despite the increase in business we are extremely proud to say they continue to offer exceptional customer service, with our Voice of Customer overall satisfaction results reaching a record high of 93.9%.’
Ryall says the company believes the campaign is powerful and endearing to Kiwis because it is based on true House of Travel stories. She says the general sentiment from agents is it has made them feel more empowered. ‘The public reaction has been just as positive. Our monthly market research has shown significant increases in consideration for HOT from customers who have seen the campaign. And there is rarely a day goes by that the CEO inbox doesn’t receive another unsolicited endorsement. One of the most recent, received on Friday, 16 weeks after the campaign went live is: ‘I just want to say I REALLY loved your TV advertisement related to the woman whose dream it was to see the sunrise over the pyramids of Egypt. A reality for a lot of people is that it is just a dream. To see what the lady had done at House of Travel MEANS EVERYTHING. She made sure they got room 502. I started crying when the woman woke, opened the curtains and lived her dream.’