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Harbour Hotels Group The Christmas gifts campaign that keeps on giving

The brief

In June 2019, we sparked the Christmas conversation with Harbour Hotels. As a renowned brand in the hospitality industry, it was key for them to have a plan in place for maximising opportunity in the lead up to the festive season and we wanted to get that ball rolling for them in good time.

We were aware from website discovery sessions that vouchers were an effective source of income for the business – voucher and experience sales in the lead up to Christmas in 2018 had resulted in approximately £300,000 of revenue. So, based on this insight, we proactively got to work with concept development, encouraging our client team to start thinking about a Christmas campaign and how we could help them get ahead at this competitive time of year. 

Services provided

  • Digital Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Design and Illustration
  • Data and Insight
  • Social Media Marketing
  • PPC

Project team

  • Andre Buxey
    Andre Buxey
    Head of Performance
  • Ian Mumford
    Ian Mumford
    Creative Director
  • John Pike
    John Pike
    Head of UX and UI
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Our approach

The initial brainstorming phase yielded a number of approaches which we scamped up to present alongside a top line communications strategy for the duration of the festive season. The creative routes were well received by the client, who was immediately on board with our recommendation to put Harbour gift vouchers and experiences at the heart of the campaign – they are instant income with the possibility that they won’t be redeemed in the short term (or ever!).

Harbour Hotels Christmas campaign planning

Excited by the concepts and the idea of generating additional revenue, the Harbour team commissioned us to work with them on their Christmas campaign; we were set the objective to achieve £500,000 in sales in the period from Black Friday through to Christmas Day – a £200,000 increase on sales figures from the previous year.

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We presented a range of creative routes which all ranged in style, tone and message. The selected concept was ‘Think Outside the Box’ – the idea that a Harbour experience cannot fit in a standard gift box and that it’s so much more than a box under the tree. The creative look and feel was based on the gift voucher experience being represented visually, bursting out of the box with graphical devices that were in keeping with the interiors and brand styling of the Harbour hotel environments.

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Campaign activity comprised content creation for strategic social media posts, pull-up banners for hotel receptions and corridors, in-room tent cards, posters for lifts and flyers for general spaces at the hotels. In addition, a key message definition plan played a strong role in supporting the campaign, with copy crafted specifically for different phases of the festive period in the lead up to Christmas and beyond into the ‘limbo’ period when gift purchases continue to be made.

Harbour Hotels Christmas campaign on mobile

The outcome

By Christmas Eve, we were £27,000 short of target. Thanks to last minute shoppers, a final push from hotel staff, and messaging aimed at reminding people that they could still buy vouchers on Christmas Day itself, we achieved the ambitious £500k milestone by midnight on 25th December – with sales continuing to come in thereafter. 

Harbour Hotels Christmas campaign poster
Harbour Hotels Christmas logo

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The results

  • £200k

    increase in sales figures on the previous year

  • 52%

    increase in social media click-throughs

  • 35%

    uplift in hotel-based voucher and gift purchases

  • CLIENT FEEDBACK

    The Escape proactively approached us with a campaign to promote Harbour experiences and voucher sales for the lead up to Christmas. The resulting campaign created a £200,000 increase in sales. A hugely impressive uplift and exceptional ROI.

    Matthew Roach
    Head of Marketing, Harbour Hotels

Let's talk

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you connect strategically, creatively or digitally, then call us or get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

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