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Topdeck Introduces New Branding, Advertising Campaign aimed at Gen Z

Topdeck Introduces New Branding, Advertising Campaign aimed at Gen Z

Topdeck breaks category mold with launch of new brand positioning, ‘Feel Real’ New brand positioning rolls out globally on January 20


LONDON – January 20, 2020 –Topdeck Travel, providers of unforgettable travel adventures for 18-30 somethings, has globally launched a bold new brand positioning, ‘Feel Real’. Marking an exciting new era for the company, ‘Feel Real’ has been developed in response to the shift in the types of experiences Gen Z and Millennials want from travel.


Following in-depth research into its target audience, Topdeck will be refreshing not only its brand’s ‘look and feel’, but also its entire business operations. The move comes as the company looks to communicate its mission and commitment to inspiring young travelers through life changing travel experiences.


Looking to break through the generic travel clutter, ‘Feel Real’ has been designed to appeal to the values of a new and emerging generation. In response to the current marketplace and the evolving values of its customer base, the positioning draws attention to the benefits of travel that ‘feels real’. Topdeck is aware that for its Gen Z and Millennial audience, travel is a liberation from life, and in a shift towards more authentic and enriching travel, the company aims to provide the antidote to the artificial ‘sea of sameness’ often communicated within the industry.


Previously, Topdeck’s marketing approach has primarily been destination focused, however the new positioning will showcase how group travel offers much more than just a location.  Through inclusive group travel, Topdeck’s tours help travelers to broaden their horizons, offering fresh perspectives, with the opportunity for self-discovery. Responding to the perception problem that the Group Touring category has faced in recent years, Topdeck’s new brand strategy aims to highlight the benefits of group touring, bringing them to the forefront.


To better reflect the needs of young travelers, the company will be introducing a new website, digital marketing campaign, brochures and marketing collateral. These will all feature a new look and feel, as well as refreshed messaging that will bring to life the brand positioning. Topdeck will also be making changes to its trip operations and there will be a series of new product releases, the first of which launches today.


Charles Knowlton, Global General Manager at Topdeck commented, “Travel that feels real is at the heart of our brand and operations approach. We know that our customers desire deep culture, meaningful connections and to be able to not just see, but really feel a destination, as well as take in everything the journey has to offer along the way.


Travel has become commoditized and homogeneous. Travel should be more than just offering the standard ‘copy and paste’ experiences. It should offer people the chance to escape the mundane of day-to-day life, meet new life-long friends, gain new perspectives and broaden their horizons. We deliver that, group travel delivers that, but group travel has an image problem, that we aim to overcome.


All of this thinking has been built into our brand positioning. We want to enable people to feel liberated from the rules of normal life. Travel is about discovery and being you, without feeling the need to conform to the “sameness” we are exposed to every day.”


As part of the ‘Feel Real’ brand positioning, Topdeck will also be introducing its very first mass-market, ‘Time to Get Outta Here’. The creative concept draws on the theme of travel that ‘feels real’ by showcasing an escape from everyday mundane routines.


The ‘Time to Get Outta Here’ creative campaign will feature a series of light-hearted creative executions with different ‘FML’ moments, where each protagonist experiences an existential life crisis in an everyday situation. Deemed their ‘time to get outta here’ moment, the video series showcases three awkward situations, including a man trapped between his girlfriend and her mother during a typical Friday night on the sofa watching TV, a woman trapped in the gym surrounded by selfie loving gym goers, and a man stuck at a Wizard Con party he’d rather have not attended. These moments then cut to Topdeck’s most enriching travel moments which reflect the brand’s ‘Feel Real’ brand positioning.


Topdeck’s Global Head of Marketing, Anna Fawcett, commented, “This is an exciting time for the travel industry and in turn, for Topdeck. We know that our target audience, Gen Z and Millennials, want authentic travel as opposed to the polished Insta-worthy experiences that we’ve become over-exposed to today.


Our new brand positioning, ‘Feel Real’, has been designed to help enhance the travel experience offered by Topdeck, as well as to ensure our marketing approach evolves to respond to the shift in values among our customer base. It’s time for us to be bold and shout about what we do exceptionally well.


Through our campaign Time to Get Outta Here, we are honing into the core reason our audiences travel – to escape the mundane routine of home. We are the antidote to that. We are coming out strong, cheeky and attention grabbing – we want to shake things up and break the mold of the “same same” boring travel advertising everyone else is doing.

This is the first campaign of its kind for Topdeck with a significant media spend globally, with the aim to build awareness of this new brand positioning that emphasizes the benefits of experiencing group travel with Topdeck.”


The campaign creative has been developed by ZAK, the UK-based youth marketing and creative advertising agency.


About Topdeck


Topdeck is the number one provider of authentic and enriching travel experiences that encourage freedom from the rules of normal life. Founded in 1973 by a group of friends with a double decker bus and a passion for adventure, Topdeck aims to inspire young travellers to seek deeper, life changing travel experiences. Topdeck offers inclusive and personally liberating group travel itineraries across a variety of culturally rich destinations spanning Europe, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, North America, South America, Africa and the Middle East. Each trip is supercharged by Trip Leaders who inspire as well as lead, allowing Topdeckers to travel with and meet other curious and open-minded individuals from across the globe. Through its open and inclusive approach to group travel, Topdeck is committed to offering tours that ‘Feel Real’.


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