Case Study
Sykes Holiday Cottages



Sykes Holiday Cottages have been around for over 25 years, offering customers a huge range of more than 12,000 holiday homes to rent across the UK and Ireland – from cosy cottages for two to larger properties that sleep 20 or more.  

  • Sykes wanted to raise brand awareness, increase consideration and drive sales.

  • They used regional TV with a carefully monitored campaign.

  • As a result, they achieved a significant uplift in awareness and consideration.


The Challenge

Previously, Sykes relied heavily on PPC and online marketing to drive sales. However, in 2017, they wanted to grow the business and become a household name so they knew they needed to change their strategy. The key objectives were to:

  • Raise brand awareness.

  • Showcase the breadth of destinations throughout the UK.

  • Highlight the range of experiences available on a holiday at home.

  • Achieve a return on investment.

  • Have a competitive market share.

The campaign was due to run from Boxing Day to mid-January, during the peak period for holiday booking, so needed to have cut-through in a crowded travel advertising space.

The Solution

Sykes tasked us to come up with the right solution to help them achieve their objectives. We knew that TV was the best option for creating brand awareness and increasing consideration. Because Sykes had never advertised on TV before, we recommended a linear, regional TV plan. This meant that they were able to track and optimise the campaign as they went along, seeing business and marketing results by region and so could take learnings forward to a second, stronger campaign.

Our team analysed the best time of year to advertise looking at schedules and competitor activity and decided that December/January would be the optimum time. Audience analysis showed that there was a female skew to the target and so housewives became the buying audience.

The Plan

We decided a regional TV campaign would be preferable, so that they could see the impact of the TV advertising in each region and also have control regions where there was no advertising in order to have a comparison.

To choose which regions, they used Experian Audience Data heat mapped onto TV regions combined with Sykes’ first party data.  As a result of this analysis, they opted for ITV North, ITV Central East, Channel 4 North and Channel 4 Midlands.

They launched with their brand new 30 second TV spot on 26th December. This was a heavyweight campaign until mid-January to capitalise on consumers being off work for Christmas and coinciding with the time when holiday consideration is highest. From mid-January to mid-February, they continued advertising but at a lower weight with a pulse strategy. 

The campaign was tracked on a weekly basis to gain a full understanding of how spots were performing and which ones were generating leads. For example, The Chase and Emmerdale performed particularly well.  In this way, they could see which spots, channels, dayparts and programmes were the most cost effective. They closely monitored all activity and optimised where possible throughout the campaign, moving spots around to get the best results for Sykes.


The Results


Campaign delivered an additional 21,363 enquiries to the business.


TV provided a statistically significant uplift in brand awareness and consideration within the exposed regions.


Additional 128,000 incremental branded sessions online.


TV allowed for a significant reduction on PPC investment on brand terms.