MiC K.I.S.S. Pick: Everyone into the (virtual) pool

What better way for Contiki Holidays to boost awareness of its Greek resort than to throw an online pool party?

The marketing team at Toronto-based Contiki Holidays Canada has created a zany and engaging online game to promote its four-star resort in Mykonos, Greece – a venue designed exclusively for consumers 18-35. At the click of a link, visitors are invited to not only enjoy a virtual pool party, but be entered to win a week’s stay at the resort.

Splashing in the cyber water begins with choosing a persona, such as surfer boy or bikini girl, and then picking an inflatable pool toy (banana, horse, clownfish, giant sausage), after which visitors race across the pool in a frenzy of mouse-clicking. ‘For us,’ Contiki president Cris David tells MiC, ‘a viral campaign like the pool party game represents an opportunity to increase our brand exposure on a shoestring budget.’

As a dynamic viral element, participants can forward invitations to the pool party to their eligible friends, earning themselves additional chances to win the resort holiday.

The initiative is being supported by Contiki’s retail partner, Travel Cuts, with POS displays and distribution of pool toys sporting ‘Join the Pool Party’ decals at 70 locations across Canada. Meanwhile, Contiki reps at six universities in Ontario and BC have been provided with inflatable pool toys for use in promoting the game at booths on campus as well as in fraternity houses and dorm rooms. Campus reps have also promoted the pool party online through their Facebook and MySpace groups.

As well, pool party e-mail alerts have been sent to about 300,000 names in the combined prospect and past-customer databases of both Travel Cuts and Contiki Holidays. Press releases were circulated to the Canadian consumer and travel trade press. And ads are running in Travelweek and GSA to promote the pool party game to the 10,000 travel agents who receive those trade pubs. Creative elements of the initiative were developed by the Sydney, Australia-based circul8 agency.