TUI utilises SVOD partnership to drive brand reappraisal

TUI utilises SVOD partnership to drive brand reappraisal
The Media Plan

When the travel and tourism industry returned following the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers were interested in not just “beach and buffet” experiences, but also trips seeking adventure and cultural immersion — and 40% of European tourism could be classed as this second type.

That provided a challenge for travel company TUI. According to Claire Prince, head of branded entertainment at WPP media agency EssenceMediacom, the brand had spent years advertising itself as “package holiday gurus”.

“Quite simply, it was a victim of its own success, because all people thought TUI did was packages, when in fact it did so much more,” she told The Media Leader.

EssenceMediacom was tasked with convincing consumers to reappraise TUI’s product offering. To achieve this goal, the agency looked to create a brand-funded programme with subscription VOD (SVOD) platform Amazon Prime Video.

In 2022, TUI did so with the first series of The World Cook, a show in which cooks from around the world compete in a culinary competition spanning multiple destinations. The idea of partnering with a cooking show made sense as a way to show off international travel destinations and cuisines.

The same strategy was taken again for the second series, which debuted on Prime Video in March. But the brand wanted to develop this further.

Building on success

The first series utilised “strategic placements across the Amazon canvas”, Prince said, garnering 9.6m minutes streamed within two months. Accordingly, brand perception improved, with a 77% year-on-year rise in TUI’s search volumes for locales showcased on the programme.

“Season two of this AV initiative showcased more of TUI’s diverse travel destinations through another competitive cooking series, engaging viewers and integrating TUI’s branding organically,” she explained.

Apart from partnering on the show, TUI launched an amplification campaign across Amazon, with the show’s content feeding into wider marketing activity. “We will be building our World Cook intent segments from those going and clicking through to the show,” Prince continued. “We can then implement these through an always-on approach within the Amazon DSP [demand-side platform], optimising towards sales.”

In addition, TUI will utilise Amazon’s Performance+ tool to gain key user behaviour learnings “across Amazon DSP and Video including World Cook“.


Prime Video was chosen as an ideal partner because, as Prince explained, “SVOD is on the rise, with Amazon driving a significant proportion of the velocity in the market”.

TUI is a “good fit editorially” with The World Cook, thanks to Amazon’s extant library of travel and food titles and the show’s goal of showcasing international cuisine.

Prince added: “Housing content on the same platform as the media plan also has the benefit of simplifying the user journey from being served the ad to consuming the content compared to other platforms.”

The World Cook Amazon EssenceMediacom TUI 2

Hosts Fred Sirieix and Emma Willis

Prime Video made further sense for TUI as an audience analysis conducted by EssenceMediacom showed “significant portions” of Prime members fell within “both the heartland and growth audiences” that TUI was hoping to reach.

In fact, Prince described the collaboration as “a true partnership between producer and brand”. Destinations, filming locales, guest experts and judges were all either influenced or provided directly by TUI and the company also assisted with off-camera logistics involving transport and housing for the production crew.

Looking ahead, Prince said EssenceMediacom will be monitoring the same metrics examined in series one through uplift studies on the second series. The media plan secured via Amazon Ads included such studies across both the ads placed across the service and the episodes themselves to ensure “sufficient measurement” of the campaign.

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