October 14, 2022

Hills Balfour scooped a couple of awards last night at the Travel Marketing Awards 2020.

Hills Balfour won 1st place in the Affinity Marketing & Sponsorship category for Kenya Tourism Board with the Kenya x Grind x Kuoni brand partnership campaign.

Hills Balfour & MDSG won 2nd place in the Innovative Marketing category for Visit Fort Lauderdale with the Fort Lauderdale x London Art Swap campaign.

Congratulations and a big thank you in particular to Alice Palmer for all her hard work on the Kenya campaign, and to Hannah Norris and Kathrine Stakston for their hard work on the Fort Lauderdale campaign.

A big congratulations to MDSG as well who also picked up Advertising Agency of the year for the 2nd year in a row.



While Kenya enjoys a steady influx of visitors from an older demographic, the destination is keen to future-proof its tourism economy by engaging with the millennial market in London and the South East.

The objective was to increase millennial affinity with Kenya as a trendy and sustainable destination, increasing both consumer sentiment and propensity to travel, by positioning Kenya as an aspirational travel destination for millennial market for holidays in 2019, 2020 and beyond.

Kenya is a world leader in eco-tourism and cites coffee as its third biggest export – two key strengths that perfectly align with millennial passion points, environmental issues and food and drink.

A survey by the British Coffee Association (2018) revealed that coffee consumption in the UK is booming with 95million cups drank every day. Moreover, millennials (20-37) contributed to 50% of all the coffee consumed in coffee shops, bars or restaurants.

Fast-growing independent London coffee chain, Grind, was selected as the brand affinity partner for Kenya due to:

  • Relevant product – Grind sells top-quality Kenya coffee
  • Commitment to sustainability such as avoiding single use plastic
  • Coverage of London (ten stores and five to follow)
  • Relevant customer profile (25-34 years old, affluent and educated).

Grind had the added advantage of being able to combine experiential with digital. A competition to win a holiday to Kenya was incorporated to engage the Grind audience as well as generate excitement and enquiries.

In order to move the audience through the funnel, trusted tour operator, Kuoni, was selected to act as the response partner and capitalise on the quick-decision making mindset of millennials.

The campaign took place across a short time period, June to August 2019 and included:

Grind Owned Channels:

  • Branded coffee cup sleeves, postcards and in-store displays
  • 2 x activations at Westfield Stratford
  • Takeover of Royal Exchange Grind
  • 2 x weeks of message on the Shoreditch Grind Cinema sign
  • Campaign microsite on Grind website
  • email marketing campaign with Grind loyalty customers

Paid Channels (to drive customers in-store and experience the best Kenyan coffee for themselves and track and measure tour operator sales):

  • Full page in Lonely Planet Traveller Magazine
  • Digital OOH
  • Social posts and stories
  • Large Format Content Unit activity – data targeting and retargeting engaged users
  • Premium display across travel whitelist

The campaign proved to be effective in terms of engagement and response, exceeding all targets:

  • Impressions: 961,070 (target: 500k, +34%)
  • Engagements: 961,070 (target: 500k)
  • Clicks to Kenya microsite and Kuoni: 33,537 (over target of 25k, +34%)
  • CTR: 0.21%, which exceeded the target by +5%
  • Bookings: Kuoni has seen an increase in both PAX and room nights booked to Kenya this year compared to last year, which were up by +20% and +22%, respectively
  • Bookings: 15% uplift in passenger numbers to Kenya
  • Added Value: The campaign also delivered added value of over £100,000