A digitally fuelled shake-up of the active holiday market.


Neilson are the active holiday experts - offering skiing, sailing and ‘Beachclub’ breaks to those who want to do more than just ‘fly and flop’. People who unwind with fresh air and activity. Backed by a private equity investor, Neilson is looking to grow profitability over the coming years. MBA has been tasked with developing the brand’s distinctiveness, to drive enquiries and conversions. The business had a record year last year, with repeat bookings at an all time high.

Holiday communications are packed with clichés

The perfect, happy family learning to sail together; the beyond-expert skier making perfect S tracks down a powder precipice. A holiday experience which almost no one actually experiences.


Our creative executions are based on a “point of view” photography style - shot with a GoPro - aiming to give a sense of what it’s like to actually be on a Neilson active holiday.

Why not have a go before you go?

Holiday booking is classic "ZMOT" activity; researching different options before selecting the one that looks best. We're developing a variety of content to engage potential holidaymakers during this research phase - all designed to show what it’s like to really be on a Neilson holiday, having an amazing time.


Using 360° footage filmed with head-mounted GoPros, we've taken Oculus Rift windsurfing and skiing experiences to the public at events across the UK and on to Neilson's website and Facebook page - accompanied by smartphone and tablet apps - as well as creating this social campaign #haveagobeforeyougo

Creating engagement with Digital Escalator Panels

Using 360° videos filmed with head-mounted GoPros, MBA created a series of Digital Escalator Panels featuring POV footage of key Neilson holiday activities - like mountain biking, kayaking and paddle boarding. 


The idea was to catch people’s attention and give them a taste of the excitement of being on a Neilson active holiday. The DEPs were located in high footfall stations, such as Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus.

Posting impressive viewing figures with pre-roll

The 360° footage that featured in the DEPs was also used to create YouTube pre-roll - highly targeted to be seen by beach-bound travellers. The pre-roll attracted 104,535 views in its first nine days, giving it a view rate of 21.23%, scoring solidly above YouTube’s benchmark of 10–15%.

Apps to engage, apps to discover

Further through the purchase journey, we found people need some help to choose which Neilson destination is right for them.


Pack It Up, Pack It In helps you find the Neilson resort that's right for you, by inviting you to describe what you're looking for in a holiday.


Ask Our Instructors further caters to holidaymakers who want to get a better feel for the experience they will receive in advance - by giving people the chance to ask Neilson's instructors questions and see their answers in a "virtual lesson".

Creating a booking experience as good as Neilson’s holidays

With holidaymakers increasingly using handheld devices when booking, Neilson required a website that was optimised for mobile. Instead of building a brand new website from the ground up, we converted Neilson’s existing website to work brilliantly on all devices using responsive design – providing a faster and more cost-effective solution.

At Neilson we have been focused on establishing our brand and MBA have played a huge part in making this happen by creating great content driven marketing that’s aligned to our business goals.

Andy Furlong Marketing Director, Neilson