All hail the short break!

Choice Hotels’ new research makes it official – we all need to take more short breaks to support our physical and mental wellbeing   

When was the last time you took a short break?

You know, the type where you pack up the car on a Friday night and grab your friends/partner/family/dog (or simply a good book) and spend a couple of nights in a different town indulging in some ‘me’ time. The kind of weekend where you explore on Saturday, have a few too many wines with dinner, sleep in on Sunday morning then enjoy a leisurely brunch before slowly making your way back home feeling refreshed, calm and happy. Maybe even a little loved up.

The answer is probably too long ago, right?

When it came to light that four out of five Kiwis want to take more breaks but are ‘too busy being busy,’ we set out to help our friends at Choice Hotels put an end to this madness. It was time to celebrate the mass benefits of the humble short break, and thus, needabreak.com was born.

To support the launch of Choice’s new online platform – a website created to enable and inspire Kiwis to plan much-needed short breaks – Undertow Media embarked on a unique campaign to communicate the various findings of the ‘Need a Break’ research report* and inspire people to take action towards achieving a healthier work/life balance.

The research found that short breaks are an excellent way to alleviate tension, and were actually the number one option for Kiwis to relieve stress. We all know that time out from the daily grind is important, but what we didn’t know was that short breaks (just 1-3 nights away) boast the same mental health benefits as a longer holiday. It’s just a bonus that the planning process is often cheaper, easier and more spontaneous!

With this in mind, we devised a strategy to stagger announcements exploring various angles of the research, in order to position Choice Hotels as the champion of short breaks in New Zealand and create repeated exposure to the brand across a 12-week period.

We supported these announcements with targeted giveaways to maximise media exposure and drive broadcast coverage. These giveaways allowed the winner to book a trip for two through needabreak.com, with the winner able to choose the destination and experience the benefits of using the new website.

Finally, we enlisted the support of an ambassador who epitomises health and wellness – the lovely Makaia Carr. Makaia, one of NZ’s most respected wellness advocates, was the perfect vehicle to communicate the research findings and key messages to the campaign’s core target audience of females aged 30 – 55 years.

We stirred conversation with stats such as ‘the average Kiwi took only two short breaks in 2016,40 per cent of us admit to remaining connected to work while on a short break, and 16% of Aussie men, compared with 11% of Kiwi men, claim sex is the best form of stress release and secured coverage in NZ’s top media including TVNZ Breakfast, NZ Herald – Travel, NZ Herald – Business, The Hits morning show, Radio Live, Good Health Choices, The Rock’s Morning Rumble and more.

Undertow Media’s multi-pronged strategy came together in harmony and the results speak for themselves. Over five million opportunities to be seen across TV, radio, social, online and print media, and one very happy client.

*The ‘Need A Break’ report was commissioned by Choice Hotels Asia-Pac via First Point Research & Consulting using an online survey method. This survey was completed by more than 1002 New Zealand and 1048 Australian consumers in March 2017