Cheapflights shifts ad strategy

Cheapflights is to turn a decade-long strategy on its head by using a branding agency for the first time as it looks to explore new marketing strategies.

The appointment of branding agency Bostock & Pollitt follows the arrival of ex- head of digital at British Airways, Joe Sikorsky, as the price comparison site’s UK marketing boss.

B&P has been tasked with improving the “personality and design” of the Cheapflights brand after admitting a maturing online travel market has led it to re-think its existing policy of using predominantly online marketing tactics, such as pay-per-click advertising.

Until recently chief executive David Soskin had frequently highlighted how the company had spent just £100,000 in offline advertising during its ten-year history.

However the appointment of B&P could see Cheapflights joining other high-profile travel advertisers such as Expedia and more recently Travelsupermarket with a multi-channel campaign, although chairman Hugo Burge told Travolution the company would not be making a dramatic shift to television or billboard advertising in the immediate future. 

Sikorsky said: “Our clear, compelling brand vision and personality will move us from the level of being a functional popular brand to an emotive one.

“This is an exciting next step in Cheapflights growth from an attic in Wandsworth in 1996 to a thriving, transatlantic business today.”

The turnaround also marks the beginning of what could be a pivotal year for Cheapflights as it looks to attract new funding from private investors or raise capital on the London Stock Exchange, primarily to boost its aspirations for overseas growth.

Soskin has not ruled out a sale of the business.

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