Online retailer Lastminute.com has launched its first Europe-wide integrated campaign to highlight its lifestyle product in the face of increasing competition.
The online travel agent’s Stories Start Here advertising campaign goes live on TV in the UK on April 1, with a prime-time slot during Coronation Street on ITV1. It also includes advertising in print and online media across eight of its European markets.
The retailer has revamped its website to create a less cluttered and easier to use site for consumers and unveiled plans to increase the amount of product that can be booked via mobile phone applications.
Managing director Mark Maddock stressed the time was right for a heavyweight campaign to set itself apart from rivals. The campaign aims to highlight non-travel products from theatre breaks to sports experiences such as indoor sky-diving, focusing on “unforgettable and inspiring moments”. Around a third of revenue currently comes from lifestyle products.
Maddock said: “From a heritage perspective, we were the dot.com pioneers breaking new ground, but the world has moved on.
“Being online has become the norm; we have got more competition, and people have changed. They are time poor and their expectations are high. Everyone is internet savvy.
“People are now looking at Facebook and we have had to adapt to mobile applications. We are now part of a much larger group and the time is right for an integrated campaign. What sets us apart from competitors is the element of lifestyle experiences.”
Maddock said the Lastminute brand was already well-established with a loyal customer base but stressed the importance of highlighting how the company had moved on, with the adoption of new mobile phone applications to book theatre breaks, for example.
The company will continue to add more content that can be booked via mobile phone technology in future, he added.”Customer research shows a high percentage of us are ready to make bookings from mobile phone apps and that’s the way forward. All online businesses have to move in that direction.”
Maddock said the company was focused on its own customers and “not actively chasing” other companies to acquire. “For us it’s about focusing on what we’re doing being mindful there is a lot of competition,” he said, adding there were no plans to launch an affiliate scheme to sell through travel agents.
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