Wotif selects M&C Saatchi to ‘breathe new life’ into brand

wotifOnline travel agency has appointed M&C Saatchi to “breathe new life” into the brand, the first time it has turned to an external agency for several years having previously handled its creative work in-house.

M&C Saatchi won the account following a competitive pitch with two other agencies. It will work with Wotif on a project basis.

Details of the campaign, the first to be led by an outside agency since 201o when BCM worked on the account, are expected to unveiled next month.

Wotif, which is the subject of a takeover offer from Expedia, has seen growth stall over the past couple of years as competition in the online travel space has intensified.

Management will hope the appointment of M&C Saatchi will reinvigorate the brand.

Wotif Group’s general manager, marketing Michael Betteridge told Mumbrella that the time had come to seek an exterior agency to work on its creative.

“We’ve had the approach of doing it all ourselves in the past,” he said. “My view is to continue to foster that but there comes a time and a place when you need some pretty big guns, like your major agencies, to come in with ideas.

“Wotif has been around since 2000 and part of my remit is to look at the brand, and the other brands that we operate and breathe new life into them.

“This is a significant project for Wotif and M&C Saatchi brought in some bold and brave ideas and I want this to be bold and brave.”

With growth for Wotif’s core Australian and New Zealand accommodation slowing, the business has expanded beyond domestic hotels over the past 18 months to flights and packaging. Growing outbound travel to major overseas holiday destinations is also an integral part of its growth strategy.

“I believe we can still compete for market share within the domestic market but the story we need to tell is deeper than that,” Betteridge said.

“This is an exciting business. It has appealed to a broad cross section of Australian travellers and the channel strategy will absolutely fit in with customer insight, both in terms of where we need to place communication and also the communication itself. It will reflect what we believe our brand to be.”

While the M&C Saatchi work will focus on the core Wotif brand, Betteridge also flagged the likelihood of developing a campaign for its Last Minute brand over the next 12 months.

“It is an extremely competitive environment. My job is to remain competitive and be a leader and take on all-comers,” Betteridge added.

M&C Saatchi chief executive Jaimes Leggett said: “Wotif Group is a dynamic and innovative business. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with them.”

Steve Jones


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