For 30 years the leisure industry in Northern Ireland had to combat image problems stemming from 'the troubles'. With the cessation of widespread terrorist violence following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in April 1998, Hastings Hotels wanted to boost its business.

However, it wasn't a simple challenge, as the number of hotel rooms in Northern Ireland has increased by 58% in a decade with Hilton, Holiday Inn and Jury's now competing for the value/budget market.

Hastings had historically attracted infrequent bookings from people interested in golf thanks to its sites close to some of the province's top golf courses.

It created the Royal Tour featuring Royal County Down, which hosted the British Open in 1952, Royal Portrush and Royal Belfast, as well as top quality hotel accommodation.

The campaign set out to build on the growing popularity of golf and market Hastings Hotels as the perfect golfing holiday partner. AV Browne was briefed to generate enough enquiries to achieve 120 room nights in order for Hastings Hotels to fund ongoing marketing activity.

The target audience was active golfers from Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. It concentrated the budget on the television coverage of the Seniors British Open - hosted in 2000 at the Royal County Down course, the home of Hastings' The Slieve Donard Hotel.

Editorial coverage on Sky would provide viewers with a taste of the scenery and the quality of the course, while 17 ad spots in live and highlights programmes during the four-day tournament would persuade them to visit.

In effect, the coverage became a 16-hour advert for the hotel chain.

Instant enquiries generated 273 room nights and gross revenue of £45,500.

It is estimated that the campaign generated a profit of £17,312.75 based on a media expenditure of £5000 and production costs of £7000.

A tactical press campaign was built upon the endorsement of the Seniors Tour and the TV campaign was repeated during the 2001 Seniors Open, with double the media spend.

Prior to the launch of the Royal Tour, the group's golf bookings averaged 472 room nights a year. In 2001 the company generated 1533 room nights, and the current forecast for 2002 is 2350 room nights.


Campaign: Hastings Hotels golfing breaks in Northern Ireland

Agency: AV Browne Advertising

Client: Hastings Hotels

Creative Director: Mike Fleming

Art Directors: Mike Fleming, Jim Brown

Copywriter: Mike Fleming

Film Director: Suki Commercials Unlimited

Advertising Manager: Julie Maguire

Authors: Mike Fleming, Sam McIlveen, Julie Maguire


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message