Expedia has selected Ogilvy &Mather Advertising to lead its new brand communications strategy in Expedia’s 12 major European markets. The appointment follows a two-month pitch process handled by agency relationship consultants AAR. Ogilvy & Mather will be tasked with generating both pan regional creative and local work that demonstrates a strong appreciation of consumer needs in distinct local markets.
In the last year Expedia has launched new local websites in 3 new European markets and has extended the marketing team to support this focus on both new and existing markets.
“Ogilvy & Mather have demonstrated a clear understanding of both our brief and our business goals. They share our desire to build campaigns with coherent, creative cut-through whilst driving the sustainable increases in transactions that will deliver long term value for our business. Finding a pan-European advertising partner was important to us. Finding one capable of creating campaigns with resonance in each European market, without resorting to dreary “Euro-comms”, was critical. Ogilvy & Mather have shown a desire to meet that challenge”, commented Andrew Warner, Senior Marketing Director EMEA for Expedia.
The appointment follows a 6 month investigation with brand consultancy, the Value Engineers, to better understand the needs of different audiences and how best to connect with them to address the issues that matter to different consumer segments in each European country. A series of new products and services informed by this research will be launched in 2011 both on the Expedia site, and through new platforms for Expedia in Europe such as social media and mobile.
“In a highly commoditised market, we are looking to build stand-out and differentiation for the Expedia brand. We have a number of different challenges across our 12 markets. In markets that we have recently entered we need to establish the brand and focus on customer acquisition, whereas in markets such as the UK, Italy and Germany, where we have a strong market leadership position and high levels of awareness, the challenge is around building loyalty and expanding our breadth of services,” added Warner.
The account will be structured to reflect Expedia’s own marketing structure with a focus on combining local expertise with central co-ordination.
“By removing layers of structure and increasing the flexibility of our marketing functions, Expedia has seen reinvigorated, marketing-driven growth and delivered strong business performance – despite a difficult year for the travel industry. The strength of Ogilvy & Mather’s European network means they are well-placed to drive our brand strategy and meet the challenges we face in our diverse markets” said Andrew Warner.
“We are thrilled to be working with such an innovative and progressive client. This win caps a significant year for the agency and we look forward to producing some remarkable work for Expedia in 2011.” Hugh Baillie, CEO, Ogilvy & Mather.
Expedia’s media planning and buying across Europe is handled by PHD. Essence is Expedia’s digital partner marketing agency. Expedia also works with a number of PR consultancies across Europe. None of these relationships are affected by the appointment of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising.