In February 2014, Flight Centre executed an above-the-line campaign targeting Australians aged 24 to 55 under the umbrella theme: “We love UK & Ireland”.
Komosion was engaged through a competitive pitch process to work with Flight Centre to extend its above-the-line campaign into its social channels, in particular Facebook. At the time, Flight Centre Australia had 375,000 Facebook fans – an extremely leveragable, “owned” asset.
Flight Centre had built its Facebook audience despite allocating what it described as a relatively insignificant social budget and priority to social channels.
It decided to embark on some test-and-learn activity, allocating $70,000 to social investment to support its above-the-line: “We love UK & Ireland” promotion.
Its goals included to:
- Grow Facebook likes and reach
- Support messaging in above-the-line campaign
- Educate the Australian travelling community on UK & Ireland destinations
The target audience was people aged 18-54 with an interest in, or connection to with, the UK & Ireland. The campaign was to be designed to support a considerable mainstream campaign and was to include some cross promotion via paid media to drive organic growth (see diagram below).
There were, however, some significant constraints:
1) From the time of selection the agency partner had 10 days to be in market with a campaign; and
2) The timelines and company policy did not allow any of the significant above-the-line activity to cross-promote the social campaign.
Komosion presented three concepts based on the way content is consumed in the context of social media. Komosion explained that Stories (Individual Posts) are the “Atomic Particle” that feed the Facebook ecosystem.
Facebook users’ newsfeeds are a filtered, aggregated, ranked list of stories from all the things they are connected to - all their friends and all the pages that people have liked. Facebook users friends see stories in their newsfeed and if the content engages them, they usually share it.
In determining our content strategy, we reviewed Flight Centre’s recent activity, broke down its audience by gender and reviewed time-of-day engagement. We researched (via the Visit Britain destination marketing authority) the most popular destinations and activities for Australians within the UK and established a content calendar that underpinned each of our three campaign concepts.
A month-long “conversational calendar” was our campaign backbone.
We took Flight Centre’s “We love the UK” central theme (Ireland was added later) and, for social engagement, proposed to change it to a question: Why love the UK & Ireland?
Because Flight Centre wanted to acquire more page likes, w recommended the campaign include a competition. All posts were art directed and professionally copywritten. We created a range of posts designed to stimulate interaction and sharing around the prize but that also had their own intrinsic ‘shareability’.
How it worked:
1) Flight Centre sent out an EDM and Facebook posts to promote the Why love UK & Ireland campaign on Facebook.
2) The audience was driven to Flights Centre’s Facebook page to say why they love the UK.
3) The conversation started by people who know the UK, but were equally be open as a forum for people to talk about their dreams: be it to visit Old Trafford or go to Glastonbury Festival.
4) It resulted in a group of local advocates for places outside of the usual tourist destinations.
Facebook users would list whatever they loved about the UK and go in the draw to win a UK trip. The more they engaged, the more chances they got.
At the end of the campaign period, 23,903 more people were following the Flight Centre Facebook page, when compared with the number at the start of the campaign.
The campaign featured 28 posts over 22 days. Combined, the posts reached 800,817 people. Two-thirds of people reached by the campaign were reached “organically” with 530,253 posts being seen by Flight Centre Facebook followers and their friends. The campaign posts reached another 252,709 people in an advertisement or sponsored story.
Flight Centre undertook the campaign as part of a decision to experiment with new ways of engaging its customers. The company has defied gravity by persisting with a hugely successful combination of “bricks and mortar” retail outlet investment and sustained mass marketing through traditional media channels, primary television, newspaper and printed brochures.