Szallas.hu is the biggest online accomodation booking site in Hungary, with 250.000 customer reviews and 180.000 listed accomodations. It is a fast growing company. In 2014 and 2015 they won the competition of the fastest growing technology business of Hungary, called Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50. In 2014 they even won the first place in the whole CEE region, with providing services in 9 countries. We’ve already helped them since 2011 to grow from $1.5 million to $5 million in revenue.
Their previous branding campaigns were provocative - spitting, water pipe breaks and the CEO strolling in Unicorn costume. They raised brand awareness but haven’t built enough trust. The client wanted to position itself as a trusted brand with lots of reviews, high quality customer service and to emphasize itself as a local player.
The biggest share of their revenue was represented by hungarian (internal) tourism, their users weren’t booking abroad. Despite the fact, that Szallas.hu has already listed accommodations from 175 countries. So the main goal of the campaign was to show people that they can book abroad, and to raise the number of bookings in foreign countries, and to increase brand recognition in the Hungarian population.
We started with insight research. We analyzed 852 user reviews about why did they book, and why they didn’t. We formed 8 kind of target audiences based on their financial and marital status. Using this information, we compiled a survey for the client’s former customers. The answers revealed, which are the hungarian’s disincentives from travelling international. The main blockages were the lack of language skills, the high costs of the holiday and the distance of the destination. The other important result of this quantitative study was that we learned, what kind of holiday advert can work at the individual target groups. It appeared, that the most popular topics were european destination related, connected with gastronomy and discounts opportunities. Based on the results of the research, we could plan the further strategy of the online campaign and the offline appearances.
We created Facebook adverts, and Google banners to reach the determined groups. Our online advert’s visuals focused on the traditional hungarian style “fried meat sandwich”. This kind of food is essential to a regular hungarian, so we made it appear on the creatives. But with a twist, it was also like an island too. In this way we could catch attention with the absurd food placing and affect sensory organs at the same time. It had several versions with static and animated variants. We made a matching message to the visual:
“We as hungarians, feel ourselves like at home in the world, when we have fried meet sandwich with us.”
First we tried pictures without it, then we tried one with the text, and it reached higher click-through. That’s why we applied them on all the print versions later. Meanwhile we had a hypothesis about the “selfie pic”. We believed, that different backgrounds will get higher click-through. So we tested the grey and the brown background, but the difference was insignificant.
To accomplish the best effect, the print creatives was tested online at first. We tested 9 of our creatives on the divided target groups of magazine readers.
The most popular one was the “Sandwich island” creative. So we suggested this to appear in magazines which have the largest readership, like “Best Magazine” and “Story Magazine”. The older age groups liked those creatives most, which contained family completed with the szallas.hu’s search box. The best thing in this ad that it makes the target audience familiar with the accommodation. So when they see it online, they will recognize it. This kind of ad appeared at “Women’s Magazine”.
Contrast to that, the top rated creative was the “six-pack” ad, among the younger age group. It was a little bit provocative and humorous. This ad appeared in “Cosmopolitan Magazine”, which most targeting young womans.
Considering the click-through rate the analysis based re-designed creatives performed 20% better than the first round creatives. Fun fact, that the number of the croatian accommodations booking grew from last year’s 200 to 2000. During the campaign the brand recognition rate showed continuous growth month by month. More specific there were 21% increase between May and July.