Tag: campaign

Destination Canada uses authentic content to inspire travellers

Authenticity was key in the launch of Destination Canada’s latest suite of rich content. The ‘Explore Canada’ campaign is focused on bringing to life the amazing sights, wonders and experiences that Canada has to offer.

There are over 6 million European travellers considering Canada as a future holiday destination. Despite being on people’s travel list, there was no urgency to book Canada as their next holiday destination. Our goal was to change Canada from a ‘might visit at some point’ destination to a ‘must see’ and next on the list.

Destination Canada is Canada’s national tourism marketing organisation. They promote Canada’s extraordinary experiences in 11 countries around the world. Their key markets include Germany, UK, Australia and France.


Research shows that consumers are increasingly moving away from traditional media. Instead, they are turning towards more personalised and trusted sources – such as friends, family and key influencers – to research and plan their travels.

Traditional marketing campaigns with sponsored banners or branded social posts are no longer enough to convince consumers to buy a big-ticket item like an international holiday. Our content marketing approach needed to reach and entice consumers at key points along their decision-making journey. We wanted to use more novel, innovative marketing ideas to engage these travellers emotionally.

Based on this, our focus is content like videos, photos and articles. Rather than a traditional branded campaign, the idea was to have viewers come into contact with the content naturally in relevant environments they typically visit for travel planning and purchase.

Over 500 pieces of high-quality content were developed across passion points and locations in Canada. Because authenticity is integral to this strategy, we didn’t include any branding on this content.

For the video content, we are leveraging a high-profile YouTuber from each of our key markets. Each influencer uses their typical filming style to highlight Canada as the perfect vacation setting. Influencers share and promote the content directly with their YouTube followers, allowing the material to seed organically. Many also promote their Canada videos on their Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram accounts.

You can currently view the latest influencer content tailored for the UK and Germany, with France and Australia content coming soon.

We then use data to align consumers with unbranded content that caters to their individual interests, passions and travel purchase behaviours. Once viewers engage with multiple pieces of unbranded content, we then serve them a personalised message from a local tourism partner who can offer them a great deal for the location or experience they’d viewed.

We are in the second exciting year of this campaign. The tremendous success of last year’s efforts included over 50 million content views and over 190K content viewers booked a holiday to Canada, with over $231 in additional tourism revenue generated for a 67:1 ROI.

Want to keep exploring? Visit Destination Canada’s key market websites – UK, France, Germany and Australia.


OMD and Destination Canada were recently awarded two M&M Global Awards for Smart Use of Data and International Growth Strategy. Our work has also been featured on the Think with Google blog.

For more information, please contact us at [email protected].

MG OMD- Tiny Dancer, John Lewis Insurance

In 2013, John Lewis fully supported John Lewis Insurance for the first time. As a part of the John Lewis brand it carried a weight of expectation – to deliver leading trust, quality and service in a category famously lacking all three. It has gone on to become a huge success and create an entirely new category of insurance, putting quality above price but still being accessible to the many. And it has even brought new dimensions to its parent brand, not just benefited from the association.


In 2013, the strength of the John Lewis brand was at an all time high. On the back of this strength, there was increased appetite to explore where the brand could usefully serve its customers in new ways. For a department store with a stronghold in homewares and furniture, amplifying its home insurance offering seemed like a natural next step. The John Lewis Partnership had set-up Greenbee insurance in 2006, but it had only enjoyed limited success. Sitting outside of the John Lewis brand, it was mostly unknown to consumers and the John Lewis Partners had been left similarly confused about how to present it to customers. After a name change to John Lewis Insurance and accompanying soft launch in 2010, in 2013 a decision was made to finally fully launch this brand extension. This could not just be a cosmetic branding exercise. To carry the name it had to meet the high expectations that name creates: expectations of quality product design, outstanding service and fair prices. A new underwriter would be brought in; a completely new product range designed; new branding developed and an entirely new marketing campaign created.

The opportunity

During the previous decade, aggregator websites had commoditised insurance, making price the key variable. Brands had to cut their quality and service offerings to compete. The result was that the consumer had been left without an insurance brand they could trust. In fact, insurance companies lagged behind even banks in the trust stakes. John Lewis, on the other hand, was the most trusted retailer in the UK, famous for its quality products and service. There was a clear opportunity to stand for something unique. And we knew this was something that John Lewis customers, in particular, would respond well to. A piece of bespoke research showed a clear difference in their mindset. In the regular insurance path to purchase, price concerns directly followed brand familiarity and then, finally, the level of cover was checked. The John Lewis customer’s journey again started with brand name familiarity, but then moved on to an analysis of the level of cover before, finally, ending with a price check. In other words, John Lewis customers were seeking quality before anything else.

The strategy

We would give the John Lewis homeland audience what they wanted from an insurance brand. To achieve this, we knew we would have to make John Lewis Insurance a uniquely trusted brand in its category by:

  • Being a mass-market quality insurance brand. We would design our offering around the core John Lewis values that loyalists already loved – quality, outstanding service and fair prices – and tier these products to make them accessible to the entire John Lewis audience.
  • Behaving like a true John Lewis brand. Instead of short-term price-fighting, this meant long-term brand building, leveraging a brand idea and executional approach befitting of the John Lewis brand.

The brand idea

We needed a differentiated brand idea that would allow us to go beyond cynical short-term sales spiking, to instead build long-term brand trust. To identify this, we used a combination of qualitative and key opinion former research. We found 2 powerful insights:

  1. The difference between “house” and “home”. John Lewis customers saw their homes, not as 4 walls and a roof, but as a collection of the things that meant the most to their family lives. This was what they wanted to protect.
  2. The threat of catastrophe wasn’t the primary driver. Most John Lewis customers were buying insurance simply to mitigate against the little mishaps that peppered everyday family life. This was what they wanted to protect their things from. Approaching this thinking from the point of view of a true John Lewis brand lead us to conclude that: John Lewis Insurance should be the brand that cares as much as you do about protecting your family’s most cherished items from the joyous but ultimately unpredictable nature of family life.

Finally, this was summed up with the line: “If it matters to you, it matters to us”

Behaving like a true John Lewis brand

Over the next 3 years, we implemented a completely integrated communications campaign that consistently helped us walk-the-walk of a mass-market quality insurance brand. The key to this was bringing to life our new John-Lewis-appropriate idea, within the classic John Lewis executional world. In this way, every single piece of our communications imbued John Lewis Insurance with an inherited sense of quality and trust.

Phase 1:

Introducing our credentials (2013-2015). These TTL communications lead on the Home insurance product and clearly set-out the new end-line and the 1st half of our brand idea, depicting how John Lewis Insurance cares as much as you do about protecting the special items that sit at the heart of your family life.

Phase 2:

Exploding our brand (2015). This set of work refreshed the campaign with a more explicit focus on the 2nd half of our brand idea:the joyous little slip-ups and blunders of family life that you want to protect your special items from.

Extraordinary results 

  • The products generated immediate sales increases
  • The campaigns became a headline-making cultural phenomenon
  • This resulted in fantastic R.O.I – in the first phase alone, every £1 spent generated an extra £1.89.
  • This seems to have continued into the 2nd phase (2015), with sales up 61% and commission up 41%.
  • And not only did we build a distinctive category position, but we did so in a way that also created an effect for the parent brand – generating a further £2.9m of extra sales for John Lewis overall.

This has been the story of how the John Lewis brand extended beyond retail, to deliver its famous brand of trust, quality and service in a market that badly needed it. It has also been the story of how John Lewis Insurance stole the nation’s hearts and built an insurance brand consumers could actually feel good about. But most of all, this has been the story of how John Lewis Insurance invented it’s very own category, became a huge commercial success and, finally, a powerful new income stream for the John Lewis Partnership.

Tiny dancer 3

Monster champion jobseekers in brand refresh

Monster has launched a new campaign with OMD, their first in seven years, to reinvigorate the Monster brand in the UK with a specific focus on the millennial audience; potential candidates who are in the earliest years of their career.

Monster Recruitment May 2016 1

Andrew Warner, Vice President Of Marketing at Monster said,

“For too long the job market and career conditions in the UK have seen jobseekers as victims. In terms of competitors, the landscape is ‘functional’ rather than thrilling; category apathy means there is little to distinguish between the major competitor offerings. This campaign, planned and implemented by OMD, aims to reposition jobseekers as heroes – champions – with Monster on their side and in their corner. Monster helps jobseekers ‘Find Better.’”

It’s a bold stance and is supported by a bold, multi-million pound media campaign, combining high-impact Out Of Home and Digital OOH advertising in commuter-saturated areas nationally with high-reach executions across radio, digital and social channels. This includes the BFI IMAX, the largest ad canvas in Europe, and digital screens across major transport hubs in London and nationwide.

Monster Recruitment May 2016 10

Further nationwide coverage is provided by a nationwide radio campaign that manages to keep reach high while still focussing on the ‘Millennial’ audience.

“As well as prominently displaying Monster’s revitalised brand, the media mix speaks to the target audience through their most prevalent channels and will land the brand values as well as driving direct response through digital channels,” added James Jackson, International Executive Director at OMD. “It is well supported by social media campaigning across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and to further target the young jobseeker audience, features Snapchat as a major element.”

The practical outcome of the channel mix is that the varied channels work together to reinforce the refreshed Monster brand and drive candidates and new partners to the Monster site. This campaign is mirrored across European markets.

Monster have big growth ambitions and this campaign is a reflection of that, as is their significant investment in their product offering and a successful drive to increase the number of jobs on their site to 500,000 in the space of a year, helped by aggregating jobs from other sites and partnering with more blue-chip clients such as Sky, Apple and Lloyds. Monster are dedicated to doing more than providing a simple job board and are supporting jobseekers with a wealth of career resources and training initiatives.

Week Five- John Lewis, Monty the Penguin

John Lewis

This is Christmas. And this is the John Lewis Christmas campaign. This is arguably the most high-profile marketing campaign in the UK and the most significant commercial period for all retailers. Each new John Lewis Christmas campaign is hotly anticipated, analysed, debated, critiqued, rated and talked about. Failing to engage the nation will therefore have a significant commercial, social and cultural impact on the John Lewis brand.

The pressure to succeed is only extended by the fact that every retailer is desperately trying to topple John Lewis’ position as theUK’s favourite Christmas advertiser. Resting on past glories was never an option.

The idea- first anticipation, then imagination

 John Lewis sits in a truly privileged position. People are genuinely excited about seeing the latest ‘John Lewis Christmas ad’. With this natural anticipation, we set out to start conversations about Monty even before he had been launched.

Monty is a penguin and the best friend of a little boy, Sam. To the viewer, Monty is a real-life penguin. But by the end of the ad we discover that Monty is actually Sam’s well-loved soft toy. A child’s imagination is a wonderful thing; many like Sam bring their favourite toy to life. With this insight, we created a campaign that encouraged imagination and people to see things with childlike wonder!

john lewis monty the penguin 2 jpg (3)

Bringing it to live with powerful media and tech partnerships

With so much riding on Christmas, we placed huge emphasis on collaboration. As such, we started briefing media owners at the start of the summer and in the true spirit of partnership we gave them unprecedented client, creative and agency access.

To get the nation talking about Monty even before the very first spot we turned to Channel 4. They proposed an innovative approach to seeding the penguin by allowing him to be integrated in their station trailers, where the four logo is constructed out of moving objects. These would then be used as 10” teasers promoting the launch spot in Gogglebox within an entire ad break takeover!

To stimulate imagination we installed a ‘Monty’s Den’ (i.e. grotto) into every store, where children and their parents could deepen their relationship with our penguin star.

John Lewis1

In partnership with Google, we created ‘Monty’s Goggles’ for every ‘Den’, where we used Google Cardboard to deliver an immersive virtual reality experience – putting Monty and innovative technology in the hands of our shoppers to stimulate their own minds!

In the flagship Oxford Street store the digital technology was taken a step further with ‘Monty’s Magical Toy Machine’. In partnership with Microsoft we developed a technological first; whereby children’s soft toys were digitally scanned and then brought to life before their eyes, so they could dance together with their favourite cuddly friend on the latest 4K TV screens. A truly magical event!

The results

2014 was the Christmas of MontyJohn lewis 2

Specifically, the anticipation and imagination activity made Monty a marketing star:

  • 5m tuned in for the C4 premiere with break retention at 91% up from LY (89%)
  • There were 5m conversations around #MontyThePenguin before the ad had even launched
  • John Lewis was the first UK retailer to use Google Cardboard and ‘Monty’s Goggles’ was made available in all 44 stores across 92 handsets / cardboard devices
  • Over 2,600 children brought their own favourite toy to life with Microsoft’s ‘Monty’s Magical Toy Machine’, which equates to 5 scans an hour across the 7 weeks
  • Commercially, Monty the Penguin helped John Lewis deliver a bumper Christmas with sales up 5.5% YoY vs. a market increase of only 1.5% (source: British Retail Consortium).

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