I pitched, illustrated, and designed the packaging for a two-color letterpress calendar to send to our past passengers at TCS World Travel as promotion for a new travel loyalty program.
TCS World travel is a luxury jet around-the-world tour operator based in Seattle. They operate their own tours, as well as branded trips for National Geographic and Four Seasons.
Trips range from $70,000-nearly $200,000 per person, with options for a fully customized trip. It caters to an affluent (top 3%) and typically retired client base (though not always), who can afford and has the time to go on a 25 day trip.
The trend we found is that most travelers were repeat customers, so leadership wanted to create a loyalty program to incentivize repeat bookings. Additionally, a 2016 study found that customers who are members of loyalty programs, such as frequent flier clubs, generate between 12 and 18 percent more revenue than non-members.
The marketing team wanted to kick-off the launch of a new loyalty program with branding for the program and a direct mail marketing campaign to previous customers. The intent of this campaign was to gather email addresses for digitally-focused integrated marketing campaigns, and ultimately increase bookings while reducing marketing costs, improving ROI.
My task was two-fold: 1) Create a brand identity for the new loyalty program, and 2) Create a memorable direct mailing campaign targeting past travelers to drive enrollment in the loyalty program.
The name of the loyalty club was “Moai,” from the large heads of Easter Island, as that was–and still is, the first destination on the original Around the World trips operated by TCS. So for the identity of this loyalty program, we wanted to stick to a pretty literal representation in the logomark.
Additionally, since this campaign aimed to kick off around the new year, I proposed the idea of a calendar that featured destinations from the Around the World Trip Itinerary. Obviously, considering the product we were promoting and the competition for valuable desk space many companies often vie for with calendars, we knew it had to be much more elevated than your standard tchotchke. Photographs of the lovely locations wouldn’t be enough, so I proposed a hand-drawn illustrated letterpress calendar.
Process of approvals for this project was my art director–who was in the brainstorming meeting and on-board with the idea, so we used my concept sketches for meetings with the director of marketing and leadership team.
After concept approval, I worked with our project manager to create a workback schedule and our marketing director on choosing the final list of illustrations.
Since we were used to primarily producing photography-heavy brochures, we hadn’t planned on a project like this and kicked-off in late October. This meant the schedule was fairly tight considering the amount of production time needed for letterpress, packaging and shipping.
I created one or two illustrations per day, on average, and then spent time refining them in photoshop.
I met with our print vendor for paper, wooden stand, and packaging options. I also worked with our vendor to source wooden luggage tags with the new Moai logo mark.
I presented leadership mockups of the calendar and several versions of the logos for final approval.I met with the letterpress studio (Evolution press in Ballard) to discuss printing and got to see and sign off on the first batch printed.
After a whirlwind of a project, the end result was quite exciting. Below is the box as shipped to customers, the greeting inside with the final version of the logo, and photos of the monthly letterpress calendar in the wooden base with the Moai mark I created.
We were able to get it out on time, and it arrived to most homes by the first week of January. The reception was fantastic!
With an audience of 3,400 households, we had a 20% response rate, signing up for the Moai Club within the first 3 months. Guests called and wrote emails saying how much they loved the calendar.
I even received one handwritten thank you note 🥺