Wotif axes Wotifia fantasy world as brand adopts a ‘test and learn’ approach to TV

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 1.59.01 PMWotif has dropped its Wotifia fantasy world creative and will return to TV in a fresh drive to position the brand as a travel generalist rather than an accommodation website.

The Expedia-owned company has created a new strapline – the home of holidays – to reinforce the message it is no longer just a seller of domestic properties.

The new campaign will launch with TV ads on Sunday night with Wotif urging consumers to ‘listen to your holiday self’.

The departure from Wotifia will come as little surprise given the lukewarm reception it received on its introduction in August last year and comments from director of brand and marketing Amanda Behre that Wotifia had “done its job”.

The fantasy world of Jack and Charlie, who took part in a range of bizarre experiences around the globe, was the debut work of M&C Saatchi and was described by then general marketing manager Michael Betteridge as “brave and bold”.

Betteridge also oversaw a marketing strategy that moved away from TV and adopted a more digital-first approach.

Amanda Behre

Amanda Behre

Under Behre’s leadership, and under the ownership of travel behemoth Expedia, Wotif will now look to target a broader customer base, including empty nesters and grey nomads.

Asked if Wotifia has failed, Behre, said: “No, absolutely not. It did it’s job which was to target and raise awareness of Wotif among the adultescent market.”

She said the new push will position Wotif as not just a domestic accommodation site but a full service online agency with international packages, flights, car hire and attraction tickets.

While Wotifia was promoting a similar message, albeit to a younger audience, Behre admitted Wotif did not previously have the product to back up the messaging.

“I’ll be frank, we previously has 12 package combinations so 12 months ago consumers coming to our site wouldn’t have seen a large breadth of product,” she said. “If they don’t see what they are looking for they will go elsewhere but now we have an infinite number of package combinations.”

The campaign creative will focus on the amount of holiday leave Australian’s stockpile and encourage “hard working” consumers to acknowledge to themselves that they need and deserve a holiday.

Behre described the return to TV after a three year hiatus as a “test and learn” medium, with the campaign also extending to digital and social, radio and out of home.

“I’d like to see how TV performs. If we are looking to target families and grey nomads TV is a channel we absolutely want to look at,” she told Mumbrella. “But it’s not the be all and end all. TV is only one element of a multi-channel campaign.”

The TVC’s will appear on Channel Nine and Seven, while Wotif also has Youtube and Facebook pre-rolls among its digital and social executions.

Behre described the media spend, which is handled by Vizeum, as “substantial” but declined to reveal specific figures.

Steve Jones


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