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Proper holidays - Visit Wales’ marketing campaign

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Details of the Visit Wales marketing campaign to attract visitors to Wales.

The thinking behind the campaign

We’re going beyond the conventional approach of telling people what’s good about Wales with our current marketing campaign. Instead we found a real family and a young couple who had a disappointing holiday abroad and filmed them having a ‘proper holiday’ in Wales. We wanted to re-focus our marketing activities to ensure that Wales really does stand out from all our competitor destinations in the UK and internationally.

Our campaign and TV ad gives a flavour of what ‘proper holidays’ in Wales are all about. Wales is authentic, memorable and different. We want visitors to understand what makes Wales different. We want visitors to explore our country and experience our genuine Welsh welcome that we are so proud of. We also want to show through this campaign what Wales is most definitely not - manufactured, dull, passionless and forgettable - some might call this ‘the package holiday’.

Introducing the Darkes family

The Darkes family from Huddersfield went to Gran Canaria on holiday last year, but returned home disappointed and with very few real ‘memories’. The sun shone, they relaxed, but there wasn’t really anything to do. So we brought them to Wales in 2010 for a week and filmed them making memories to last them a life time and leaving them feeling they’d had a ‘proper holiday’

Over the course of five days the Darkes family had fun at Greenwood Forest Park with human powered roller coaster, visited Caernarfon castle, learned to make a shelter and hearty meal in the depths of the woods, went extreme picnicking in Snowdon, fell in love with Portmeirion, camped in dunes, trekked through Brecon on ponies and dared each other to climb higher in Llangorse.

We want Piers Bramhall

In the summer of 2011 we went on an important quest - to find an ordinary guy stuck in a holiday rut and to bring him to Wales. That ordinary guy was Piers Bramhall. We turned up on his London doorstep and with the help of a Welsh Male Voice Choir led by Joanna Page (Stacey from Gavin and Stacey) he accepted our invitation to try a different kind of holiday. A proper one.

Four weeks later, accompanied by a support crew filming, facebooking and tweeting throughout, his journey began. As a VIP guest of Wales, Piers traversed a wiggly line through the heart of Wales and did all sorts of weird and wonderful things; whisky tasting, surfing lessons, mountain biking, playing golf on the Twenty Ten Course (venue of the 2010 Ryder Cup), camping in a bell tent, to name but a few! You can see all of Piers’ proper holiday adventure on the  Visit Wales’ consumer website (external link) 

Visit Wales campaign details

The new TV advert campaign aired for the first time on 16 January 2012. The aim of this campaign is to:

  • Re-state our commitment and explain what we mean by Proper Holidays.
  • Explain how we invited the Darkes and Piers to experience a Proper Holiday in Wales.
  • Invite the audience to see what the Darkes and Piers did in Wales.
  • Invite the audience to plan their Proper Holidays in Wales.

There are two 40 second adverts, one on The Darkes and one on Piers. These TV ads will focus on attracting families and couples to Wales, as well as the short-break markets.

We will focus on ‘attacking’ new markets using the new 40 second Piers advert and ‘defending’ existing core markets with the re-worked 40 second Darkes advert. Our core markets are in the Midlands and the North West and our new markets are London and the South East.

To follow the TV ads, on-and off-line direct marketing took place in late January 2012, where we placied inserts in key newspapers.

Wales View 2012

Wales View is our main holiday magazine, giving an overview of what’s great about Wales and signposting to the marketing area brochures for more specific local information. The UK and Ireland versions of Wales View 2012 was ready for distribution in January 2012. We’ll be distributing 20,000 to consumers on our database, who’ve expressed an interest in Wales as a holiday destination. An e-brochure is also available online. Go to the Visit Wales’ consumer website (external link)  to take a look.

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