Marketing for a travel agency during COVID-19 has presented a unique challenge: How do you promote your travel services and brand when the entire world is unable to use them? The world was closed, and we needed to find a clever and creative way to keep the travel flame from burning out.
To make quarantine life fun, entertaining and educational for the millions of kids who were at home, the marketing team at Fox World Travel created our online Little Foxplorers Adventure Camp, which has now been awarded a 2020 Silver Magellan Award from Travel Weekly in the Marketing Through COVID-19 category.
“The hard part about marketing is staying relevant without being redundant,” said Carisa Bartelt, Fox’s creative marketing supervisor. “You need to balance talking about what people are thinking about — so yes COVID-19 — but in a way that’s different than what everyone else is doing. We really wanted to make sure we were representing who we are here at Fox, what we want to give our clients and our personality, thus Foxplorers was born.”
Most people have been experiencing significant life changes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with many having to have to adjust their schedules. In early 2020, many parents began parenting duty 24/7 due to school closures.
“When we were brainstorming what Fox could do as a marketing team to create impact in a time of uncertainty, I thought about the fact that kids were now learning from home and a lot of parents and teachers were searching for online learning opportunities for their kids from subject matter experts,” said Kati Fictum, Fox’s graphic designer. “I kept coming back to the idea of a Fox University, which ultimately became Little Foxplorers Adventure Camp, and which every single person on our marketing team has had a hand in creating. It’s been very rewarding to see this seemingly small idea become something much bigger than any of us could have imagined.”
Fox created episodes with custom scripts and music featuring Alaska, Peru, India, Brazil, Ireland, Egypt, Australia, Scotland and more. Each week, Little Foxplorers Adventure Camp explored a new country, giving families the chance to learn about various cultures, history and fun facts, along with crafts and activities to keep kids engaged and active. Custom badges were also created for each destination, echoing the idea of “trail badges” or “scout badges.”
Feedback from clients, and those new to Fox, was overwhelmingly positive.
Each video is narrated by Fox Regional Director of Vacation Travel Brianne Bloom, who was bestowed with the role of Little Foxplorers Adventure Camp counselor.
“Right now, there are so many negative things in the media, and I love knowing Fox is contributing positive and uplifting information,” Bloom said. “My favorite piece about the project is being able to teach others and add value to their day in a silly and animated way, and I get to be a part of this amazing project that helps out everyone at home. Before starting at Fox, I was drawn in by the values they listed, and today I am proud to be a part of the Fox Family because I see those values practiced every day.”
Little Foxplorers Adventure Camp was launched on March 20, just nine days after President Trump’s March 11 announcement of the first travel ban, showing the Fox marketing department’s ability to pivot quickly and launch a brand new campaign.
The Facebook post launching Little Foxplorers Adventure Camp reached approximately 30,000 people and had more than 23,000 engagements (likes, shares, comments, reactions). We saw an increase of 130% in organic reach and an impressive increase of over 1,040% of overall shares. The Little Foxplorers Adventure Camp landing page became the top visited page on foxworldtravel.com for several weeks.
Because so many had to cancel their travel plans, Fox wanted to help keep alive the desire to explore by providing alternative ways to experience the world.
“We want people to still feel personally connected to us and confident in working with us,” Bartelt said. “At the end of the day, our goal is to find a way to make sure Fox is the first thing on everyone’s mind when they are able and ready to travel again.”
Brands are not who they say they are, but rather a reflection of their actions and how their clients perceive them. The Little Foxplorers Adventure Camp campaign is an excellent example of brand awareness, strength and reassurance for clients and for the entire industry.
The Magellan Awards are judged and overseen by a one-of-a-kind panel of top travel professionals representing the best names and most accomplished leaders from the industry.
The Magellan Awards honor outstanding services in a broad range of industry segments including hospitality, travel destinations, cruise lines, online travel services, airlines and airports, travel agents and agencies, tour operators and ground transportation.
For a complete list of silver and gold winners, please visit travelweeklyawards.com.
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