Thomas Cook Virtual Reality Holiday ‘Try Before You Fly’

Thomas Cook Virtual Reality Holiday ‘Try Before You Fly’

The Challenge

Following a successful initial trial at the Bluewater Concept Store, Thomas Cook, a pioneer in the travel and tourism industry for more than 170 years, commissioned Visualise to produce a range of immersive 360 VR films. Potential holidaymakers visiting flagship stores in the UK, Germany and Belgium are invited to experience a series of virtual reality holidays on the Samsung Gear VR, a partner on this campaign.

The Solution

After agreeing the creative brief and key locations for the roll out, a small team travelled to Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, New York and Singapore over the course of a few months to capture the required content which included using a custom underwater rig to film the snorkelling excursion in Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt.

The bespoke content features a variety of destinations offered by Thomas Cook, allowing customers to enjoy a range of ‘taster’ experiences, such as a helicopter tour of Manhattan, a trip to the pool at a SENTIDO resort in Rhodes, visiting the Egyptian pyramids, or taking a walk along the OCBC Skyway in Singapore, all without leaving the store.

“Thanks to working with Visualise Thomas Cook was the first travel company to deliver in-store virtual reality to customers, we’ve been nominated for numerous innovation awards, and we’ve seen a good conversion rate for bookings made after viewing the VR content.”

Lynne Slowey, Head of Digital Content, Thomas Cook

The Results

Launched in January 2015, the in-store virtual reality experience was well received by the press including Bloomberg, PSFK and Marketing Week. In the first 3 months it generated flights and hotel bookings totalling £12k in UK and Germany and has seen a 40% return on investment. There was an 180% uplift in New York excursions revenue proving that what people do in the destination is just as important as going to the destination itself.