Is this the end of Club 18-30?

By | Category: Travel news

the brand as used on Club18-30tv. Does this express what the modern Club 18-30 is about?

According to newspapers this morning, Thomas Cook is re-thinking the Club 18-30 brand and may sell it off.

For 43 years, Club 18-30, has been a brand that many of known but few have tried. Even at its height less than 100,000 people (according to my memory) used to book a trip away to a resort where, if the anecdotal evidence was to be believed, wild parties and long drunken nights could be expected.

Today, Thomas Cook says, the youth market has changed. They don’t want a holiday where sex, sun and sand go hand-in-hand; according to The Times, people in that age group want holidays that make them look good on social media — and photographs of them they can post on social media. (I can’t quote Thomas Cook because they have nothing about this on their website.) Club 18-30tv only has 6,700 followers and just 25,000 on Twitter. Does that say more about the brand’s promotion rather than the people who might be attracted by the old images. The logo is looking tired and, maybe so is the brand.

The paper says that company want to replace the brand with Club Cook (sounds like a weekend away learning how to prepare paella) which will be more sophisticated with upmarket cocktails and big name DJs.

Since The Times broke the story (you can’t read it unless you are a subscriber) other newspapers have followed the story and written column inches about the partying days. Who knows how Magaluf and Ayia Napa might have developed without the Club 18-30 influence.

But can we believe this since some of the evidence is based on a survey whilst the rest is based on booking numbers? I surveyed Club 18-30 for the company dozens of times and the one thing I can categorically say is that Club 18-30 holidaymakers exaggerated. They owned more Ferraris at one point than Ferrari ever manufactured. They claimed to own raybans in huge numbers and their income would have put them in the jet set. The survey response was aspirational. Finding out what they really was like meant joining and watching them.

As Thomas Cook points out in some of the press stories, times change but have Club 18-30’s? Today the website is banal. Twenty years ago, brochures and surveys were vetted by lawyers to see if we went to far. Is it that Thomas Cook ahve become more coy in how they promote the brand? Could Thomas Cook be misreading the situation or not packaging the type of holidays that Club 18-30’s want? Or is the brand really past its sell by date?

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