Brand identity and Brexit drive PR spend

The world’s largest travel company, which posts annual revenues of £16bn, will be looking to strengthen its relationship with customers following the successful rebrand which brought Thomson under the TUI name in 2017. The changes were announced just 5 months after the appointment of CMO Katie McAlister, who replaced TUI’s Marketing & Customer Experience Director Jeremy Ellis following his 27-year tenure at the business.

TUI’s most recent brand campaign, created by Y&R, moves away from recent messaging concerned with “landing the TUI name”. It instead aims to “deepen the emotional connection” between brand and consumer by depicting the relationship between a mother and daughter – which is strengthened when they go on holiday together. 98% of the brand’s target ABC1 adult demographic saw the ad when it launched in the prime-time Saturday night spot during X Factor in October, courtesy of its long-standing relationship with Mediacom.

PR and content strategy: With its refreshed brand identity front of mind, PR and content strategy will be the priority in 2019, further demonstrating the brand’s commitment to strengthening its relationship with customers. The looming uncertainties of Brexit are likely to have a major impact on PR strategy, with educational content on how leaving the EU will impact holiday-makers essential. Social and content shops looking to work with the brand should outline how they can add value through click-through rate and impressions across digital and social channels. We anticipate Instagram will feature as the key social platform as more and more people use it for travel inspiration.

Research and insights: The brand is additionally seeing a huge increase in its research and insights budget following the re-launch. Monitoring key industry trends remains crucial:

  • Tours – it is looking to gauge how well a tour provider product would be received by the UK market, focusing on guided trips that offer a more in-depth, authentic experience for consumers.

  • Cruises – it wants to know how its growing presence in the space is altering brand perception, for example, whether it should target senior traditional cruise holiday-goers or a younger, less-typical cruise audience.

  • Multigenerational holidays – It wants to see whether it would be worth launching a dedicated product for families looking at trips that can cater to at least three generations.

Digital specialists should note that the company is currently laying the groundwork for a more robust digital strategy that can be successfully managed by its entire workforce. It recently published its vision for internal digital transformation, embracing flexible working and digital training for employees to create a “results-driven culture”. This should set TUI in good stead for more advanced digital investment in the coming years.

Media Spend Q1-3 2018: £16,661,253

Agencies: MediaCom, Y&R

Key decision-makers:

CMO Katie McAlisterconnect

Brand Marketing and Content Director Toby Horryconnect