Holidays are changing, and more people are waking up to the fact that holidays in Wales can offer a real alternative to the formulaic packaged holiday. One of those is the comedian Rhod Gilbert, who fronts the new campaign.
The aim of the new campaign is to show how holidays have changed in Wales over recent years. This is done by using a documentary trailer style approach featuring Rhod Gilbert visiting different places of interest in Wales and talking to people who work in the industry along the way. The TV advert is the trailer to the four web films.
During the web films, Rhod Gilbert visits the Harbourmaster Hotel in Aberaeron and meets the owners of one of the new breed of boutique style accommodation in Wales and finds out just how accommodation in Wales is creating a real sense of place. He has a raft building lesson with a group of children at the National Botanic Garden to show how families can enjoy and learn about nature in Wales. He then goes coasteering to show how doing one of Wales adrenaline activities really adds to the holiday experience. Finally, he has a cookery lesson and tastes some wine at Llanerch Vineyard and learns just why there is so much buzz about the food scene in Wales.
Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones, said:
This change in holidays is set against the backdrop of economic uncertainty. This is likely to make the market think harder and differently about their holidays choices, we could see a substitution of more expensive foreign holidays to UK holidays. People are now looking for real value and authentic quality, not over indulgence and ostentation.
Wales can offer a truer, richer, deeper, experience where people can get involved in the local history and culture and landscape. Wales is at the centre of the ‘holidays unpackaged’ movement and I’d like to congratulate Visit Wales on this new campaign which conveys the message in an engaging, humorous and tongue in cheek way.
Rhod Gilbert was the voice over for the previous set of adverts by Visit Wales, and was delighted to see more of Wales while filming the new campaign, he said:
I'd done the voice over for the Visit Wales ads so it seemed natural to go one step further and appear in them. I don't do ads as a rule, but promoting Wales is an exception. And shooting it was great fun. I got to fall in love all over again with parts of Wales that I hadn't been to in years; I'd forgotten how stunning Pembrokeshire is, for example. I also got to do a few outdoor activities that I would never normally have tried, like mountain biking and coasteering (jumping off cliffs into the sea).
Most of all, though, it opened my eyes to just how much stuff there is to do in Wales, how many people are setting up interesting, creative and original things that I would probably never have discovered had it not been for my involvement in these ads. I intend to go back to many of the locations we went to all too briefly on the shoot. Hopefully, the ads will do the same for other people as they did for me - remind them how beautiful Wales is, open their eyes to how much more there is to do nowadays, and make them want to visit again and again.
The 40 second advert will be aired on TV and for the first time in cinemas. The web films are being hosted in a new dedicated section on the visitwales.co.uk website and will also be hosted on YouTube and other video sharing sites.
The campaign also includes a major online advertising campaign which will begin with an email campaign to 150,000 Visit Wales contacts in January. There will also be a print direct response campaign - 2 million leaflets will be distributed from January to March to previous visitors to Wales and to potential new visitors through relevant print titles such as the Guardian, Times, telegraph, Independent and Country walking.
In light of the economic down turn and strength of the Euro a proportion of the budget has been moved to target people that would normally be looking at European holidays for their main holiday. This will include running tactical online advertising in environments where people may searching for their holidays. The campaign also includes messages about how Wales will be better value than overseas holidays in 2009.
The campaign will run from January-March 2009 and aims to generate 100,000 brochure requests and 100,000 online enquiries.
15 December 2008