Before Christmas, I remarked on all the turn-of-year ad campaigns we’d been given sneak previews of, urging you to capitalise on the extra noise about travel.
But even I was surprised at just how many holiday companies had taken to TV over the festive period, and the frequency with which their various ads were aired.
In fact, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen Kayak’s sheep – there’s an irony in that somewhere…
But whether it’s Center Parc’s bear family, or Thomas Cook’s little boy break-dancing by the pool, there’s no denying travel has cranked up its exposure on television.
And interestingly, it’s not just the big household-name brands such as Thomson, British Airways and P&O Cruises which have filled our screens.
Online players like Cheapflights, Kayak, On The Beach and Travel Republic have stepped outside their internet safehouse and spent big on prime-time TV.
On the face of it, such huge, well-funded web giants infiltrating consumers’ living rooms during the peaks sales period is a threat to the more traditional travel industry.
But most clouds have a silver lining. There will undoubtedly be a halo effect due to all this travel advertising.
And, who knows, encouraging brand rather than generic term searches online could reverse the spiralling cost of online marketing.
Plus, it’s always the case that while the big boys can make a lot of noise and appear to sweep all before them, they leave behind opportunities for the little guy.
And in their core markets, many smaller players, through exceptional service, already have recognition and loyalty that money can’t buy.
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