With 25 unique and amazing resorts nationwide, Darwin Escapes is one of the UK’s fastest-growing travel brands. Guests flock from across the country and even abroad to enjoy these handpicked holiday hotspots, and to relax in their privately-owned lodges. Darwin Escapes came to Ultimate looking for a brand refresh:
Finding themselves in global lockdown along with most of the world, Darwin Escapes felt they wanted to use this exceptionally challenging time to inspire and spread positivity. The lockdown swept the world in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result government regulation brought the industry to a standstill – as travel and holidaymaking were placed on indefinite pause.
Following on from our refresh of their overall brand (blog post coming soon!) we teamed up with Darwin Escapes once again to roll out a campaign called ‘The Time Is Coming’. This campaign focussed on showcasing the incredible landscape and scenery that the UK has to offer, and the presence of Darwin Escapes resorts around the country, making them ideally located to explore the wider landscape.
Darwin Escapes wanted to get people inspired about their next adventure together – honing in on amazing cultural spots in the English countryside.
A key challenge was then to ensure Darwin Escapes stayed front of mind for would-be holidaymakers, without irresponsible active promotion of their resorts, travel or holidays. We needed to draw people’s attention to the amazing holiday spots all around the UK, without encouraging travel then and there, the way conventional holiday campaigns do.
In addition, the campaign needed to be sensitive to the experiences of people all around the world, whilst bringing inspiration and a touch of joy to those who needed it – marking Darwin Escapes as a true market leader during a time of uncertainty.
Our Design team worked closely with the idea of bringing inspiration and joy into each of the platforms Darwin Escapes use: showcasing an uplifting message which didn’t explicitly refer to holidays or travelling. Incorporating the inspiring and joyful motif of a rainbow, we focussed our campaign on the fact that rainbows appear after the rain – a message of hope to remind all who saw it, that better times were on the horizon. The campaign focussed on the message that, soon, ‘the time is coming’ – for holidays, togetherness, and catching up again – the birthdays, the weddings, and the time together with the ones we love – all the things that many of us had missed out on during lockdown.
We used this opportunity to showcase the new Darwin Escapes brand, as the campaign was rolled out across platforms in the new brand style (more on that to come) with new fonts, the colours and updated lifestyle imagery. Images of friends and families playing, laughing, and being carefree summed up the purpose and point of Darwin Escapes holidays – quality time together, with no distractions.
These images and their heartfelt messages were put together over social platforms like Instagram and Facebook as well as being shared in a Google Ad format, for maximum reach and brand awareness. This campaign was unusual for a holiday company, in that there was no direct Call To Action; no driving action for the user to have to undertake. Instead, building awareness was the primary goal: sharing a message close to the heart of the Darwin Escapes brand, at the right time.
‘The Time Is Coming’ campaign propelled Darwin Escapes into the next level of their global reach and engagement, gaining both positive feedback from regular customers excited for their next trip, as well as gaining a greater reach among the general public.
The platforms used ensured maximum engagement with their audience, including a greater degree of engagement: the ads alone received 5 million impressions and 70k ‘click throughs’, in addition to 3,000 tracked conversion actions on the website directly from our campaign. Of those conversions, 462 were ‘high value enquiries’ seeking information on purchasing holiday homes with Darwin Escapes at one of their resorts.
If you’d like to find out what Ultimate can do for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch.