By Martin Kelly, Editor, Travel Trends

The Australian offshoot of US online giant Travelocity has undertaken its most adventurous, comprehensive, and potentially risky campaign since the brand was launched Down Under in 2002/03.

On that occasion, Zuji famously spent many millions of dollars pumping the brand but the jury is still out – and may never return – on whether or not the company got value for money in those early, big-spending days.

Much has changed over the past six years, including management and Zuji’s approach to marketing.

In 2008, the company believes imagination will trump dollars and has just launched a campaign based around baked beans (!) and a new strap line – Helping holidays happen – to support the launch of dynamic packing on

The obtuse hook is that people can save money to travel by eating Zuji Beans.

The company has produced 10,000 cans produced which it’s been selling for 10 cents through grower’s markets and three specially-leased storefronts in Sydney and Melbourne.

On each can is the blurb: “We think that everyone should take more holidays. That’s why we’re selling Zuji Beans for just 10c. It means you can save more and get away sooner. Visit etc….”

Zuji has also been running ads on websites, radio and newspapers; supplementing these efforts by posting flyers and doing a catalogue drops in key areas.

Fair to say it’s not your average travel campaign.

Managing Director Peter Smith and local marketing chief Dean Wicks decided to go with the concept because it offered consumer cut-through for a relatively small outlay.

“What we have done is try to use this whole campaign to punch above our weight – that’s why the creative concept is so unusual,” Smith says.

Smith also makes the point that travel is supposed to be fun, so why not try something different.

In terms of its Australian business, Smith declined to go into specifics but appeared to suggest the company’s goals have been refined along with its marketing budgets, which are now much less than the likes of Webjet, and probably Expedia.

“It’s not the answer to be the biggest,” Smith says. “We will now go out and do everything we can with the resources and budgets we have to rise above the melee.”

Baked Beans, anyone?

Travel Trends: July 8, 2008

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