Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia joined forces in order to create a partnership that would promote travel to Australia. This collaboration between one of the national airlines of Australia and its national organization aimed, to attract tourism for Australia.
Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia partnered with the Los Angeles Times to increase awareness of Australia as a top vacation destination among Californians and encourage visitation through activities in the food and wine industry. The partnership with the Los Angeles Times would also increase brand awareness for Virgin Australia in the market and promote it as an effortless and affordable way to travel to Australia.
The LA Times was chosen because of its large reach in the L.A. market, its ability to reach upscale travelers, and its ability to help both clients to achieve their brand goals. Even though Australia can be a long ways from Los Angeles, 87% of LA Times readers were more likely to have traveled to Australia within the past three years.
One of the challenges Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia faced was overcoming the target audience’s reluctance to plan a trip to Australia because of the long flight paired with the unfamiliarity of the country. The target of audiences were affluent Americans (45y/o and up) planning their next overseas vacation. Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia needed to find ways to educate audiences that Australia offers value for money, quality food and wine, and an interesting history.
By partnering with the Los Angeles Times, Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia were able to familiarize their audience with Australia through a series of sponsored content articles, showing what Australia has to offer in terms of natural beauty, culture, food and wine. The Los Angeles Times also ran an adjacent ad campaign for Virgin Australia, promoting their service as an effortless and affordable way to travel to Australia with genuine hospitality. The Los Angeles Times was able to incorporate a campaign that was co-branded by both entities, which ran across latimes.com and included high-impact and video units.
Through the partnership with Los Angeles Times, Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia were able to successfully achieve their goal of attracting travel to Australia. The campaign generated 5.7 million impressions, with an overall click-through-rate of .2%.
The overall awareness of Virgin Australia flying from Los Angeles to Australia increased 8% during the campaign period.
Also, an 8% increase was seen in the number of people amongst the target market who reported Virgin Australia as their preferred international airline.
Readers who were exposed to the campaign were 10 times more likely to associate Australia with “great food and wine” than those who hadn’t been exposed.
Source: Scarborough Los Angeles, 2014 R 1 (Total Feb 2013- Jan 2014). (Weekday LA Times + 7-day online).