South African Tourism: Launch of Jonty Rhodes 2.0

South African Tourism:  Launch of Jonty Rhodes 2.0

South African Tourism recently launched our Jonty Rhodes 2.0 campaign in India. This campaign is version two of our very successful Jonty Rhodes campaign of 2012/2013 titled, ‘Take Me To South Africa with Jonty Rhodes’.

South Africa is well known in India as a wildlife and adventure destination with a wide variety of offerings, but whilst this campaign is designed to highlight those best in class offerings, it also gives us the opportunity to bring to fore the elements that our research has highlighted as superb experiences for Indian travelers. We are now moving from ‘do South Africa’ to ‘meet South Africa’ – giving more focus on welcoming people and how combining ‘doing’ and ‘meeting’ South Africa results in a memorable, unique and enriching experience.

Marketing Mix

South African Tourism invests very heavily in research, on understanding not only what our various target segments want, but also what mediums they use.  Over the years we have refined our research to such an extent that we can pinpoint how people become aware of South Africa as a leisure destination, where do they go to in order to find information and how trustworthy they find various sources.  The net result is that we always end up with a 360 degree execution, but what we put where and when would vastly differ.

We know that 43% of Indian arrivals to South Africa happen during April, May and June. Our research further pinpoints how far backwards we need to work in order to raise awareness and what detailed information we need to put into the market for those who are searching for additional information. 

The booking cycle in India is very late with incredibly short lead times, so for us in order to mirror the real travel pattern, the optimal time to raise awareness in the market is thus November, December and January. We started our new campaign by re-awakening the spirit of the first operation with a cinema and television campaign featuring visuals from the first operation with a strong call to action/enter. The cinema campaign was in all major cinema halls across Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.  We also carefully selected the movies (Dedh Ishqiya, Jai Ho, Gunday) in order to ensure that the audience for the movies would reflect our target market.  We used the same selection process when it came to various television advertising spots – too many to mention here.

We also wanted to show how this wonderful destination works in action, and therefore teamed up with some of our joint marketing partners to present what a holiday in South Africa would look like, what your options would be and how do you go about putting together an itinerary and finally travelling to your dream destination. It was the first time that we have used such a cross between experiential marketing and selling in our campaign, and huge kudos to the work done by Kuoni, Kulin Kumar, Thomas Cook and Club 7 to raise the awareness and interest not only in South Africa, but also in the campaign. They definitely added a rich layer that we not only saw in our campaign spikes, but they were also able to justify their investment into our campaign by taking substantial bookings at their cinema activation. 

Hot on the heels of our big visual campaign, we bracketed our Out of Home campaign that we did with DDB MudraMax.  We know that although the majority of our business comes from Mumbai and Delhi, we get very good numbers from Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. Our billboard campaign launched in 22 cities and over 504 media units told people about South Africa. Our brief to DDB was very clear – we are not after a chase for numbers, we are after the perfect locations. DDB’s selection was spot on – busy touch points where our target market congregates. 

Studying our research results, we were very aware that the top mediums for awareness and sources of travel information are in the digital world.  When we designed the campaign, we knew we needed to do the jump seamlessly to enable our travelers to take the journey with us.  We studied outside research that commented on the influence of gaming on our target market and wanting to test it ourselves, this was the perfect opportunity. We also knew from our airport departure surveys that when we ask our Indians to describe South Africa, the one word is that is used substantially more than any other, is FUN.  When looking at the microsite, the entry requirements, etc. you will see all these aspects are reflected. The competition has garnered so much interest that we have extended the deadline by public demand!

The next phases of the campaign will include a variety of elements to ensure that we speak to our target market – the challenge being to say the right thing at the right time in the right place.  We are confident that we have it waxed for this year – and we are looking forward to sharing the final results with you!

Hanneli Slabber, Country Manager, South African Tourism 

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