Travolution Summit 2022: ‘Beach enthusiast’ positioning is resonating for On The Beach

Travolution Summit 2022: ‘Beach enthusiast’ positioning is resonating for On The Beach

OTA’s chief customer officer Zoe Harris ‘held her nerve’ amid TV ad Twitter comments

Championing the beach holiday is resonating despite negative comments on Twitter about its latest television advert, On The Beach chief customer officer Zoe Harris told the summit.

Harris said the firm had made a small but significant switch in its brand positioning post COVID from being beach experts to beach enthusiasts.

The OTA’s latest TV campaign features a family of holidaymakers enjoying the benefits of booking with On The Beach to the tune of 'It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.'

Harris read out some harsh critiques the ads have prompted on Twitter, but she said the OTA knows the campaign is resonating with its target audience.

“We are very much wanting to celebrate and champion the joy of the British beach holiday. 

“Definitely there’s mixed views about advertising, but we know now that it's really resonating with our core target audience.”

Harris said there was a time when she was looking obsessively at social media and what appeared to be an endless stream of negativity about the ad.

But she said it was important to separate out what is being said online and the real life experiences people have when they are on holiday.

“I did have to have a pretty thick skin for a couple of months, definitely, and hold my nerve a bit. 

“But it's just a reminder about remembering the real experience of holidays, and that's what we're really bringing to people.

“Even the fact we call it travel is a bit odd really because it's holidays that we're selling, the spirit of a holiday.”

Harris said there can be a sense of looking down your nose at the traditional package holiday and the people who go on them within marketing and media circles.

“people live for these holidays and they dream about that on the save up for them and then they look back at their pictures endlessly when they get back.

“We all do it whatever type of holiday we take, but I think it's remembering that that week in Spain is sacrosanct.”

Harris said, despite being around for 20 years, On The Beach is still a relatively new brand up against more established competitors who have bigger above the line spending power.

“It is that balance between still being a brilliant digital performance brand, but also now stretching out.

“We realise we need to acquire customers to continue to grow the way we have been through using some more traditional marketing techniques.”