Client: Delsey Luggage
Years: 2003 – 2008, 2011-12

Creating The
Lightweight
Luggage Category
Leader From
The Ground
Up
Research | Brand Strategy | Creative Campaign | Promotions | Package Design | POS/POP | Collateral | Place Based | OOH | PR | Media Planning & Buying

F rench Luggage manufacturer, Delsey, needed to establish itself in the North American market. While a household name in many parts of Europe, Delsey was virtually unknown among American consumers and struggling to increase market share against larger competitors like Samsonite and TravelPro. In the minds of American consumers, Delsey was a no-name or bargain brand caught in a price war with similarly positioned competitors.
Travel Light
Initial research revealed that newly imposed security protocols and weight restrictions had taken much of the fun out of traveling for consumers. The phrase we heard repeatedly was that travel had become ‘a drag’. Travelers were being forced to think about luggage weight in a way they hadn’t before and they weren’t enjoying it.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Enter Helium Luggage
Delsey had a new, lightweight product called Helium, but was reticent to promote it as the flagship line for the US market. While Helium’s innovative design boasted a significant weight drop and no loss in structural strength, Delsey was concerned about the viability of maintaining lightweight as their primary value proposition. Europe had already pushed lightweight with limited success and the market quickly equalized as competitors brought similar products to market.
A review of the European market’s advertising showed that while they may have marketed lightweight luggage as part of a larger brand strategy, none of them had successfully owned the space. Armed with this knowledge, we were given the opportunity to test the market with a single ad to see if the lightweight message would resonate and set Delsey apart.
We convinced Delsey to take a different approach to messaging. Treating the brand conceptually, we did away with typical feature and benefit copy and focused on a single image of a woman walking over wet cement. The woman left tracks, but the bag didn’t. Our headline simply said, “Lightweight.” Our media focus was in-flight magazines and airport duratrans. We wanted to catch travelers where they would feel it most – with their overweight luggage in their hands.
Response to the ad was overwhelmingly positive. In the first year alone, revenue increased 86% and raised again more than 70% the year following. Over a 10-year span, we achieved an average 14% YOY growth. The campaign generated more than 3B impressions and helped Delsey achieve an unaided awareness equal to that of TUMI within 36 months and Delsey has successfully positioned themselves as the lightweight luggage leader in the U.S. for more than a decade.

14%

10-year YOY
Average Increase

2B+

Media
Impressions

86%

Highest Single YOY
Sales Increase

36

Months Until Equal
Unaided Awareness w/ TUMI

10+

Years Positioned As
Category Lightweight Leader

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