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  • Date:

    21 February 2024


Key Takeaways

  • Post pandemic, Sandals needed to shift consideration and position themselves as the go-to holiday provider while also raising awareness of a new resort launch.
  • Partnering with Hearst, co-branded and display articles ran across various titles to appeal to Sandals target audiences.
  • The campaign delivered higher CTR and impressions than benchmark across titles.

One page summary

Client Quote

“The results have been fantastic, driving new users to our website and garnering interest in our brand.”

“Challenged with improving brand awareness and understanding within our core and growth audiences in 2023, our decision to partner with Hearst was  unanimous – given their unique portfolio of products across the various life stages we target. Working with their team to identify our core audiences and target them through both their print and digital portfolio, including Good Housekeeping, Prima, and Red, their approach to our brief was strategically respectful to our brand ethos and was expertly executed. Results have been fantastic, driving new users to our website and garnering interest in our brand. We can’t wait to take our partnership even further in 2024”

Jenny Sowerby, Director of Marketing

The challenge

Following the pandemic, Sandals, the leading all-inclusive brand, needed to entice customers to book and drive year on year growth, with a backdrop of a looming cost of living crisis. Their two key objectives were:

  1. Shifting consideration – make Sandals the voice of authority in the Caribbean Luxury Travel Market. Whilst awareness of Sandals as a brand is high, it was important to focus on what drives consideration for that all important holiday decision and make sure Sandals were the consumers’ go-to holiday provider.
  1. Raising awareness of new resort launch – Sandals opened a new resort in Curacao in 2022 and with Covid still affecting travel at this time, 2023 was the year to showcase this new offering and highlighting how it differs from other Sandals destinations.

The Plan/Execution

Three key Sandals audiences were identified: Mature Moderates (Sandals core audience); Good Natured Extroverts, and Bougie Insiders (the latter two with a slightly younger demographic).

Sandals partnered with Hearst to match up these audiences with their corresponding publications, activating not just against Sandals core audiences, but appealing to those stretch audiences to drive reach across the market. A series of co-branded articles ran across both print and online, delivering environments that tapped into their passion points e.g. lifestyle, food or getting married.

ROS placements were activated during each articles live dates to give the illusion of a full brand takeover for a much smaller budget, allowing them to own that space and align Sandals with Hearst as an ever-present, trustworthy brand. Content was then optimised on Hearst’s digital channels to drive EVR (engaged view rate).

All of this was reinforced with print display advertising, driving further frequency to the campaign. Articles were staggered across the year so specific resorts could be prioritised and also had the benefit of making consumer feel ‘surrounded’ by Sandals at times when they were most receptive to it and within environments they trusted and loved.


  • Good Housekeeping – a CTR at three times Hearst’s benchmark (0.38% vs the 0.11% KPI). It also delivered 24k impressions, almost 10k more impressions than planned.
  • Prima – content delivered at 101% of the booked number of impressions, and a strong CTR of 0.23%, well above the .1% benchmark.
  • Cosmopolitan – to date delivering at well above the booked number of impressions (26k vs 15k) with a strong CTR of 0.33%. The audience were three times as likely to click-through to site after reading it than predicted, and driving great dwell times of 3 minutes, vs the 2 minutes KPI.
  • Across all titles the display print activity delivered on the key frequency driving metric.