DIRECTWATCH: Thomas Cook Ski in DM drive

Thomas Cook Ski Direct is aiming to raise its identity as a customer-focused operation, with a DM campaign for its holiday booking service.

Thomas Cook Ski Direct is aiming to raise its identity as a customer-focused operation, with a DM campaign for its holiday booking service.

The work, by Smith Bundy Carlson, targets 17,000 regular skiers - 14,000 existing Thomas Cook Ski customers and 3000 customers of outdoor adventure store Ellis Brigham. The mailing promotes a free insurance and 35% discount offer on holidays booked with Airtours before October 14 for the peak season.

Presented in booklet form, the mailing breaks from traditional brochure shots of skiers on mountain slopes with quirky cartoons of how skiers spend the rest of their year. One stick figure rubs its face with sandpaper to recreate the weather-beaten off-piste effect, while another skis down a slope made from a lounge door and its gran.

The theme of the work is that Thomas Cook shares its customers' passion for skiing holidays. It has the title, 'Mad about skiing'. Text running throughout the leaflet offers information on two ways to book - by phone or in a Thomas Cook shop.

Martin Chillcott, senior marketing manager, said: 'We are trying to be customer-led by doing something that appeals to skiers. Ski mailings are usually product-led; this one is much more customer-focused.'

A follow-up postcard mailing will be sent out at the end of the month to target non-respondents to the initial mailing.

The DM strategy revolves around the three annual purchasing triggers for ski holiday bookings. The periods fall in May/June for early bookings, January/February for late bookings, and September for peak booking, when new brochures are published.

Smith Bundy Carlson has worked for Thomas Cook since last November. Its loyalty division recently won business for Thomas Cook Global and Financial Services Businesses.


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