THE CHALLENGE

Inspire travellers to discover all the hidden gems of the country

In 2019 we partnered with Visit South Africa to deliver a global annual campaign, focused on inspiring travellers to discover all the hidden gems the country has to offer and drive tourism. 

We started playing with the first letters of the words “South” and “Africa” and we developed a unique concept named “Secret Adventures”. The concept encapsulated a simple but very powerful message: inspiring visitors from all over the world to take a journey and meet the most authentic and off-the-tracks South Africa.

The campaign was then delivered through various creative solutions including video content creation, bespoke secret itineraries built and recommended by our “secret adventurers” and custom editorial features written by our partner Rough Guides.

All the new content was distributed on a multichannel level across all lastminute.com media networks and social media channels.

Visit South Africa wanted us to focus on the following 6 growth driving activities:

  • Increase arrivals and domestic holiday trips

  • Combat seasonality to make South Africa an enticing destination year round

  • Combat Geographic spread 

  • Increase length of stay 

  • Increase spend while in country 

  • Drive transformation within the tourism sector

over 12 Million

impressions delivered across a year

over 684.6k

video views on social media

over 41.3k

page views

THE STRATEGY

The insights

Thanks to our relationship with the tourist board we knew that in general there are three types of travel consumers, along a continuum of increasing travel market maturity and experience of the travel by the consumer:

  • Purpose Travellers (introduction markets), consumers tend to be generally inexperienced travellers who generally travel for the purposes of visiting friends and relatives or business. If they travel for leisure, they are very concerned with functional elements of holiday – want lots to do during holiday (breadth rather than depth);
  • Activity Seeking Travellers (growth markets), tend to be experienced, increasingly demanding about travel offering and service standards (combination of breadth and depth);

  • Immersion Travellers (mature markets), highly experienced, largely focused on achieving emotional experience in a destination (the depth of experiences but are highly demanding of the functionality of the destination in order to allow them to have these experiences).

The Tourist Board also wanted us to focus in particular on female travellers able to visit the country by themselves or with friends. 

Starting from this knowledge, and thanks to the consolidated relationship with our customers, we proceeded to create a unique content strategy to be developed and distributed on a multichannel level.

The strategy

Our concept “Meet Secret Adventures” was created to inspire global travellers to visit South Africa and live a new adventure not only highlighting what the country is usually known for, but also introducing all the hidden gems and authentic experiences available.

This concept was then developed across six content pillars, created to showcase the breadth of experiences:

3 pillars for the well known experiences: Wildlife Safari, Scenic Beauty and City Lifestyle
3 pillars for the “secret adventures: Food Roots, Road Trips and Night Life.

With this in mind, we built a campaign focused on delivering the following objectives. 

Raise Awareness of South Africa as a destination with unique and undiscovered attractions

Increase Positivity (Sentiment Analysis) ensuring safety and security concerns are addressed through reliable and accurate information 

Generate Bookings and conversions to South Africa.

The tactic

Our campaign strategy was conveyed through the following: 

1. Content Creation and Production: we created new editorial content relevant to our target audience and the 6 pillars of the campaign. This included: 1 bespoke custom hub and 6 subpages translated in 5 languages (for a total of 65 pages); 6 original videos filmed by our in-house production company in South Africa promoting unique itineraries related to the 6 pillars; 6 Rough Guides articles focused on the campaign pillars; 1 Rough Guides ebook .

Secret Adventurers: we selected three international models to become our voice and lead the Secret Adventures storytelling. The adventures visited South Africa and lived all the adventures followed by our film crew.

2. Media Distribution: the campaign was promoted through engaging traffic drivers (including banners, emails, social media posts and native placements). All the traffic coming from these activities was directing customers to our bespoke landing pages.

THE EXECUTION

Custom-built approach

6 custom video content

We created a unique itinerary of locations for each pillar and flew our film crew and our 3 secret ambassadors to South Africa for 2 weeks to produce the original video content. We created 6 60 seconds videos, one per pillar, highlighting all the hidden gems South Africa had to offer. All the videos were featured on all the content hubs created across markets and also distributed on our social media pages.

PILLARS

Bespoke landing page

We created one bespoke landing page working as a content hub and 6 subpages, one for each pillar.

Each content hub included all the original videos, a recommendation and a special message from one of our “Secret adventurers” and a features box with all the activities related to the campaign pillars.

Display activation

We promoted and distributed the campaign onsite across our owned European network through different display tactics including: IAB display, Takeover, Mobile ads and Native.

Social media

The campaign was also promoted through our social media channels and our partner Rough Guides’ ones. 

The social promotion resulted in particular in Facebook and Instagram ads focused on creating engagement and also inform audiences about all the new adventures to live in South Africa.

Email communication

In order to get the best exposure and create consideration and awareness for our campaign message we have also adopted some CRM tactics including: Standalone emails sent to the lastminute.com database and Rough Guides  Newsletters Inclusions.

Rough Guides articles

Our partner Rough Guides worked with local writers to create 6 unique articles, one per pillar, about all the secret adventures to live in South Africa.

Rough Guides ebook

All the articles from Rough Guides were then collected in one ebook, downloadable from their website.

THE RESULTS

Unwrapping great results

Content performance - overall markets

over 12.9 Million

impressions delivered

over 45,700

clicks from traffic drivers

over 41,300

page views

01:30min

average dwell time

Rough guides articles performance

03:27 min

dwell time on the Wildlife editorial

over 3,700

page views on Rough Guides bespoke articles

Top pillars and landing page performance
Top 3 markets where the campaign perform better

United Kingdom

Germany

Belgium

Social engagement

over 1 Million

interactions
on our lastminute.com social account

over 684,600

video views
on our lastminute.com social account

over 274,000

Facebook reach
through Rough guides

over 22,000

Twitter impressions
through Rough guides

CRM and Newsletter

over 13,00

total opens on lastminute.com newsletter

over 41,800

total opens on Rough guides newsletter

Sales analysis

+11.5%

YoY growth PAX sold - Passengers

+6.9%

YoY growth in room night sold

EXTRA

Branding exposure

Destination

Hotel

Airlines

Experiences