Media agency will ‘enable us to make more intelligent decisions’, says new Wotif marketer

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Amanda Behre: digital first approach

The future of Wotif’s “brave” Wotifia campaign is hanging in the balance as the travel retailer plans its next wave of marketing in collaboration with new media buyer Vizeum.

Amanda Behre, director of brand and marketing, refused to be drawn on whether Wotifia, which split consumers when it launched last August, will be retained.

She admitted the fantasy world of Jack and Charlie, who took part in a range of bizarre experiences around the globe, received a “mixed reaction” but insisted it “did its job”.

“The job of the campaign was to be bold and brave and target the younger demographic and it absolutely did that,” Behre told Mumbrella. “We’ll take that and evolve the campaign but whether it looks different I can’t tell you because we are still working through it.

“What I can say is that you’ll see quite a bit more of Wotif going forward.”

Wotif, now under the ownership of US online travel behemoth Expedia, will again adopt a digital-first approach to its next marketing push, which will look to position the brand as a full service online retailer.

While predominantly known for its domestic accommodation, Wotif is leveraging its ties with Expedia to progressively bolster its product range, with a wide range of international options and attractions available to book through the site. Car hire will be added shortly.

“We have always been known for domestic accommodation but we have some great new features and benefits across our site, including international packages and hotels, so we want to make sure we are really pushing our whole breadth of product,” Behre said.

WotifA Wotif-branded coffee cart toured Sydney’s eastern suburbs and inner west last weekend in an activation to promote its international product.

Behre, who replaced Michael Betteridge as Wotif’s marketing chief in March, said Vizeum will play a critical role in enabling Wotif to make “more intelligent decisions” surrounding its media buying.

Wotif has traditionally handled its own media spend, although it worked with Match Media on the digital spend for its Wotifia campaign.

“We have done quite a bit [of media buying] in house but we want to take it forward,” Behre said. “Agencies have strong buying power and access to a lot of external research which gives us the ability to make more intelligent decisions about buying.”

She said it will sit down with Vizeum to thrash out issues such as target audiences, social and content strategies. “It’s never a single minded view,” Behre said of its future marketing mix. “We have to look at things from a multi-channel perspective and consider things holistically. But we must also consider that a lot of audiences are coming from mobile and tablet.”

Behre said it will adopt a “digital-first” approach, and while paid media will form part of the strategy, social media content will remain a central marketing pillar.

“We have a lot of engagement with our fans on both Wotif and Lastminute. Yes, media buying is one thing, but we can’t lose sight of social.”

She refused to rule out a return to TV but stressed it was key to be “where the audience is looking”.

“TV is certainly one medium but when you think about consumption, a lot is online and on demand and through Youtube,” she said.

More creative placements, similar to the coffee cart, will also be trialled as a way to reach consumers, Behre continued, adding that Wotif will continue to use M&C Saatchi for its creative work. is also expected to receive greater exposure with Behre admitting it has not received brand investment “for a long time”.

“It is still a strong brand in this market and I think we can be a bit more brave and cheeky, so we will work with Vizeum to plan a different media strategy for Lastminute.

“What you will start to see is two quite different brands in the market.”

Steve Jones


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