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About ABTA

ABTA is the UK’s largest travel association representing around 1,200 travel agents and tour operators that sell £32 billion of holidays and other travel arrangements each year. ABTA’s purpose is to support and promote a thriving and sustainable travel and tourism industry.

The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. These qualities are core, as they help ensure that ABTA Members’ customers travel with confidence.

The brief

We were approached by ABTA with the following pitch:

“As part of the wider Travel with Confidence consumer campaign 2016/17, we want an agency to run ABTA’s summer 2017 advertising campaign, using the most appropriate channels and advising
throughout the campaign.

“The objective is to raise awareness of ABTA and understanding of what we do amongst 18-35 year olds. We also want to promote booking holidays with an ABTA Member.

“The campaign theme is fraud and the main message is to Be Smart. Book with an ABTA travel company. We have all the necessary creative already in place and do not require any new creative.

“The creative is a mix of video content that was initially created for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and will work well for the target market.”

We accepted the challenge and outlined a strategy that we felt would deliver the best possible results and tick the four main goals of:

• Reach 18 – 35yr olds
• Encouraging users to book through an ABTA member
• Increase understanding of what ABTA is
• Fulfil the KPI of garnering the greatest possible social reach

How we helped

We know that by encompassing paid ads and sponsored or promoted posts, social media  advertising can be used to send traffic to your profile pages or website. They are often used by businesses to create an initial buzz around content or to generate awareness of a brand or product and can prove very profitable.

We initiated both the ‘Stop Sickness Scams’ and the ‘Travel with Confidence’ campaigns independently and knew that we had to adhere to a wide range of targets across a very strict timeline if we were to garner results as a whole. We needed to ensure that the campaign would run from 21 June until 29 September and that the objectives below were met. For this we had to make sure that the campaign was fluid as new messaging (and assets) were developed and introduced at various stages.

We therefore took the following four step approach to generate the results and monitor performance of the overall campaign:

1. We reviewed demographics and behavioural targeting best suited to the client brief, which included age buckets, household income, recently travelled and segmented by location.

2. We recommended and made use of other social platforms including Instagram and also added Display Advertising for the Stop Sickness Scams campaign to maximise reach.

3. For the Stop Sickness Scams campaign, we recommended and implemented Bumper Ads, which saw an 89% view to 100% rate following on from the strong engagement with standard YouTube ads for the Travel with Confidence Campaign

4. We continually reviewed performance to reallocate budget to better performing audience segments and platforms such as maximising spend on YouTube and for Display.

The messages and ads had to change throughout the phases of the campaign:
• Pre-holiday
• Holiday
• Post-holiday

We also had to get ABTA Members to support the campaign through their social channels. The campaign measurements were as follows:

• Impressions / awareness of specific advertising benchmarked against last year’s numbers.
• Engagement on social media channels (benchmarked against last year’s numbers)
• Increase views to 100% on YouTube
• Increase visibility through Facebook Impressions

• Number of Members supporting the campaign/using the brand toolkit.
After taking the predefined objectives from the client we set about creating adverts on all of the platforms that ABTA had identified and built them with the appropriate text, artwork, links and
campaign titles. Some of our examples are below:

Working with a fluid total budget, meant that we could move budget around the social channels that were performing best.


ABTA wanted to use the following platforms for their campaign as these were the areas that they felt would garner the largest engagement: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The results of the ‘Travel with Confidence’ campaign were fantastic and the exposure gained:

For the ‘Stop Sickness Scams’; campaign we recommended and used Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, AdWords Display & Programmatic Display ads. The reach for those posts was as follows:

Results v Primary Objectives

  • Increase views to 100% on YouTube – Compared to the previous campaign the 100% view rates has increased from 20.29% to 41.99% – doubling the effectiveness
  • Increase visibility through Facebook impressions Vs previous agencies campaign:
    Previous Agency – Mar 17: 128,519 impressions
    Click Consult – July 17: 4,260,668 impressions (3215% Increase)
+32.9% Impressions / awareness of specific advertising benchmarked against last year’s numbers.
+22.61% Engagement on social media channels benchmarked against last year’s numbers.

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