House of Travel's in-house team has launched a new brand campaign, 'Better Together', that uses real customer stories to show the importance of working with a travel agent when booking overseas trips.
The campaign was led by creative director Roy Meares after he was persuaded by House of Travel founder Chris Paulsen to put retirement 'on hold for a few weeks' in order to create a campaign.
'Better Together' was born out of Meares interviewing House of Travel owner-operators throughout the country to find common themes that relate to the franchise. Meares says there were many shared stories of going the extra mile for customers.
"These stories really sparked with me. The owners and staff get a huge buzz out of sitting down and turning their customers' dreams and plans into holidays that totally exceed their expectations. It is so much a part of their culture."
With online booking making it increasingly easier for people to book their own travel, this ad focuses on the value of a travel agent against their online competition.
In the TVC, a travel agent at a bar is told by an acquaintance that he got a great deal online for flights to South America – and he didn't have to deduct a commission from his total price. But when the travel agent informs the man she could save him $900 off his total cost – which flabbergasts the man and turns him into an instant convert to travel agents.
Paulsen says the timing was right to launch a campaign like this.
"It was time to remind Kiwis and ourselves, just how good we are at what we do."
The campaign stars Tanya Horo, who became synonymous with the House of Travel brand more than a decade ago when she starred in a campaign as the singing and dancing 'Miss Lucy'.
House of Travel introduced Lucy's return to the brand in October last year – positioning her as a new travel agent.
The first TVC of the ongoing series was launched on Sunday.