Trio of account wins delivers £1.2m travel and leisure boost for Shropshire’s M3

A trio of new contract wins has delivered a £1.2m ‘travel’ boost to a leading West Midlands full-service advertising agency.

Kesh Khatkar, Nick Lovett, Martin Zahra, John Donnelly and Ryan Lovett (all M3)
Kesh Khatkar, Nick Lovett, Martin Zahra, John Donnelly and Ryan Lovett (all M3)

M3, which has offices in Albrighton, Birmingham and Oxford Circus in London, has been appointed to support the expansion of Affordable Car Hire, Solos Holidays and Long Travel.

The company will use its expertise in online and offline advertising, digital marketing, creative communications and acquisition marketing to help the three high-profile brands strengthen their existing customer bases and diversify into new products and locations.

News of the contract haul comes just two months after the agency appointed well-known travel expert John Donnelly as Non-Executive Director.

Nick Lovett, Managing Director at M3 commented: “We’re starting to build a very strong relationship in the travel and leisure sector and that is based on our ability to get under the skin of the business and deliver results…pretty much immediately.

“Campaigns we’ve run for Aria Resorts, Co-op Travel, Marston’s Inns and Solmar Villas have really resonated with the sector and we’re delighted to welcome three great travel brands in Affordable Car Hire, Solos Holidays and Long Travel to the family.”

He continued: “The appointment of John Donnelly is also really paying off. His influence in the industry is second to none and this, when combined with our advertising, communications and marketing expertise, is proving a very successful formula.”

M3, which is now a member of the Institute of Travel & Tourism, employs a mix of creative, account management, digital specialists and media planners amongst its 35-strong team.

Its first new win was for Affordable Car Hire, with the agency appointed to transform the branding to mark its 15th birthday and represent diversification into motorhomes and motorbikes.

The new star-shaped ‘A’ logo has five points reflecting the five products it sells and its five key pledges: affordability, trust, service, quality and flexibility. A new strapline – ‘Rentals Made Simple’ – has also been introduced.

“2019 is going to be a very big year for us and we wanted to kick it off with a fresh brand that reflected what makes us different and underlines how we try to do business,” explained Angela Day, Managing Director of Affordable Care Hire.

“M3 came in and quickly understood the opportunity and came up with a concept we all loved. Nick and his team are now rolling that out through various print and digital campaigns, including the launch of an easy-to-use website.”

Solos Holidays, which provides a host of tailored holiday opportunities for the solo traveller, has moved its media planning business from Media Com, which will also include PPC, acquisition marketing and some tailored creative work.

The final new account is Long Travel, a specialist in tailor-made boutique holidays. It is looking to capitalise on a host of new destinations such as Finland, Iceland and Montenegro by enlisting the expertise of M3 to implement a combination of online and offline marketing campaigns and SEO optimisation to boost traffic to the website and increase lead generation.

Three ‘Brexit Strategies’ have also been discussed and put in place to ensure the company is ready to meet the challenges and explore the opportunities of whatever outcome materialises.

Janie Burt, Managing Director of Long Travel, concluded: “M3 really embraced what we are about and immediately got to work on our SEO, which is already starting to pay off with a marked increase in rankings.

“I’m also really excited about the creative campaigns we’ve got planned and how we are going to use lots of different channels to talk to existing and new clients. It is all about building the brand and promoting the unforgettable experiences we now offer to nine different locations.”

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