As of January this year, RDO is featured in an advert being carried on Satellite and Cable TV, on travel and holiday programmes featured on such life style channels as the Travel and History Channels, National Geographic, and Sky News. The initial spend by RDO is not huge this year and is being classified as a UK Chapter expense as the majority exposure is in the UK, although a number of the channels are carried in resorts around Europe, particularly Spain and Portugal. Why are we doing this and why is the intention to expand this exposure in the coming years?
Back in 2009 the Board recognised that RDO needed to reorganise itself in such a way as to allow more of its funds in the future to be spent on promoting timeshare as a product and the RDO as the organisation – membership of which, affords the consumer confidence in what they are buying. It has taken close on 18 months to complete that reorganisation but we are almost there and hence the start of the advertising campaign.
What do we hope to achieve?
In 2010, we set up a Brand Awareness and Marketing Group which had a wide remit, but whose main objective was to look at ways of combatting the deluge of negative publicity that could be found on the internet. The conclusion of the group (which was subsequently joined by Harry Taylor of TATOC when it was widened into an "all industry group") was that there was little point in trying to beat or somehow drown out this publicity. In effect, if you can’t beat them, join them!
In the view of the Group, it made much more sense and would be far more effective if RDO set about enhancing its own web presence on the internet and started promoting the RDO brand and the benefits of timeshare in the media. This started in 2011 with TV and it is intended to extend this into print in 2012. At the same time RDO has outsourced the management of all its websites with the intention of enhancing the image and Google ratings of the consumer sites, in particular, the Go Timeshare and Go Fractional sites.
I should mention with thanks the help we had from all members of the Group who gave their time generously to this difficult project but I should single out Phil Watson in particular for helping us navigate the world of TV ads and costings. Without his help it would have been a lot more difficult and time consuming for us.
The TV ad can currently be viewed on YouTube – just follow this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H68zrRoDQZc – so if you haven’t seen it please log on and take a look. We do intend to vary the brand names we feature on the advert, but if you have any general comments on the ad or any other aspect of the campaign please get in touch and let me know what you think.
It is a small start, but nevertheless we had to start somewhere and with something. At least we’ re going in the direction members have been asking for over the past years.
"Onwards and upwards," as they say.