Expedia has revealed its marketing spend will grow in 2013 as the online firm cements its position as an established player in the local market and promised “bigger things than before” with new agency DDB.
The online-agent, which launched in Australia in 2005, parted ways with incumbent of three-and-a-half years BMF late last year, plumping for Tourism Australia’s agency DDB instead.
Marketing and communications manager Amee Evans said: “It’s important to have an agency that can really support us. We’ve always got the option of repurposing global work, but we feel strongly that’s not the right thing to do.”
She said whilst the relationship with BMF had been fruitful, it was time to re-evaluate, and pointed to DDB’s understanding of tourism marketing and e-commerce as reasons for the switch.
“With creative people it's hard because there’s a business component and then there’s the lovely pictures of beaches and it’s finding the right balance,” she added.
“And DDB have absolutely proven to us that they have those capabilities. So it’s exciting.”
However, she refused to be drawn on what a new campaign launching this year would entail, but added: “We’ve got big things in the pipeline. Expect even better things than we’ve done before.”
“We want people to be able to understand not only who we are but our personality as well.”
Georg Ruebensal, managing director ANZ said their marketing spend is “growing nicely”, and they will follow up the 2012 campaign which promoted its dynamic packages with a campaign to showcase its entire range this year.
“We’re still not where the US is but we clearly have the brand awareness now in the market,” he said.
“We’re a well-established brand, but are we the top of mind online travel agent in this market? No, we are not.”
Social media is also an area the brand is looking to grow its presence in, after the success of the ‘Tag me if you can’ gamification campaign (pictured) last year.
Ruebensal added: “It was really interesting to see how you can do something on really big scale which was also a big investment. In terms of engagement it’s probably doing better than the big campaign.
“So in social, not necessarily about money that you spend it’s about finding the creative idea that actually resonates with the fans.
“So the focus for us is on having the right brains, having a local team here that understands the market and knows what Australian consumers are looking for.”