For winter 2017-18, Neilson decided to move away from Travel Agents and sell their flagship Mountain Collection ski holidays exclusively direct.
Our challenge was to help Neilson build a direct business when they are three times smaller than the market leader with significantly less marketing budget. With 70% of ski customers being new to Neilson each year it was essential to cut through all the noise from other brands and stand out from the crowd.
We recognised that not all skiers are the same.
Combining data mining, CSQs, social listening, search data and research, we uncovered our perfect Neilson skier – ‘Experienced Intermediates’ who have been skiing enough to know they enjoy it but aren’t gung-ho powder hounds.
They love the whole experience of being in the mountains, not just the skiing. As much about clearing their minds as charging down pistes.
Through direct and digital, we connected their desire for experiences with Neilson’s flagship offering – ‘Mountain Experts’. Fully-qualified instructors who know each resort like the back of their glove.
This unique, exclusive, guiding and coaching service comes as standard and gives guests the best of the mountain; avoiding queues, improving techniques and even finding the best hot chocolate.
Our obsession was to stand out from all the other brands by being different, whilst demonstrating how Neilson help you get more, both on and off the mountain.
Unpicking how the Experts guide you to the best experiences, the perfect metaphor came from the classic piste map and original design style of skiing.
Not the ‘Gnarly’, ‘Awesome’, ‘Bro-culture’ of modern snowsports, but the classic, romantic side of skiing; the visual language of winter advertising of the 1930s.
Crafting bespoke mountain illustrations, the contours and the lines of ski runs reveal what the experts help you experience.
We found a truly original way to communicate that resonated with skiers, and stopped them in their tracks.
And it worked;
- Neilson’s entire Mountain Collection inventory sold out for the first time ever as full season passenger and revenue targets were exceeded, with £262K incremental revenue
- The travel agent risk paid off with winter delivering 15% higher revenue than 2017
- Every channel delivered ahead of forecast, including nearly two million impressions from Telegraph digital activity, and display helping to drive over £5M web booking revenue for the first time since 2015
- Direct mail activity delivered booking uplifts in all targeted audiences, and drove £1.45M revenue at an ROI of 20:1
- Winner – Best Consumer Press Advertising – Travel Marketing Awards
- Winner – Best Consumer Direct Mail – Travel Marketing Awards
- Bronze – Best B2C Campaign – DMA Awards