Last month saw Kindred deliver its first launch for the Foreign Commonwealth Office’s Travel Aware campaign. We were tasked with tackling a lack of awareness of local laws and customs amongst Brits travelling abroad and launched our first leg of the campaign ahead of the Easter break. Our aim was to drive young people to the FCO’s travel advice page to read up on their destination’s local laws and customs.
And it really is worth doing – there are some pretty unusual laws and customs out there. Would you have guessed that vaping in Thailand could land you in jail for 10 years? Or that many Caribbean countries, such as Barbados, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia ban wearing camouflage clothing? Probably not. It was our job to get people checking.
We delivered the campaign through three integrated strands; PR, Social Media/Digital and Partnerships.
For PR, we found that a third of young people were influenced by celebrities’ holidays, inspiring them to travel further afield to more exotic destinations. However, many of these places will also have more unusual local laws and customs and only 28% of young people were reading up on these, unaware how much they can differ to those at home. We also pulled together a list of some of the most surprising local laws and customs from around the world, to support the story. We pitched our content to the press, securing coverage with BBC Breakfast, BBC GNS, Mail Online, BBC Online, Telegraph and Guardian to name a few – no mean feat given Salisbury and Russia were high on the news agenda. Renowned travel journalist Simon Calder even recorded his own vlog to sit alongside the article he’d written for the Independent website.
On the Social and Digital side, we created content for the FCO Travel Aware social media pages and to share with partners. This included infographics, ‘Spot the Mistake’ videos, and an animation which highlighted some of the difficulties you could face abroad, should you not prepare by reading the relevant travel advice.
Alongside this, we partnered with key travel bodies and brands, sharing a toolkit of content with them. Partners such as ABTA, BIBA, Lonely Planet and Post Office shared our materials, with activity going live to coincide with our PR and social story on launch day.
The results? Trending news stories, strong social engagement and a huge uplift in traffic to the FCO’s travel advice pages. But we’re not done yet – watch this space for part two…