Client: Thomas Cook
Campaign: Try Before You Fly
Deliverables: 5x location shoots, HTLM5 web player, iOS and Android App for Google Cardboard
Project Date: Spring and Autumn 2015
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 holidays on the Samsung Gear VR, a partner on this campaign.
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.
“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 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, without leaving the store.
Embodying Thomas Cook’s strategy of offering customers a high tech, high touch experience across all omni-channel touch points, we also created a Thomas Cook Holiday 360 App. This can be downloaded to iOS and Android phones to view the experiences in Google Cardboard headsets outside of the in-store experience.
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.
WON: 2015 Mobile Innovation Awards: Most Innovative Development - Entertainment
WON: 2015 Retail Week Customer Experience Awards: The Award for Retail Theatre
SHORTLISTED: 2015 Retail Week Customer Experience Awards: Content Marketing Initiative of the Year | In-store Customer Service Initiative of the Year | Digital Customer Service Initiative of the Year | The Award for Outstanding Digital Experience | The Award for Retail Theatre
SHORTLISTED: 2015 The Drum Creative Out of Home Awards: Experiential/Ambient Content
SHORTLISTED: 2016 The Retail Week Awards: Customer Technology Innovation of the Year