Increasing search rankings and brand visibility

Our Sands of the Indian Ocean campaign leveraged Kuoni’s Indian Ocean expertise, our insight and microscopic photography to generate a 314% increase in organic traffic.

The challenge

Our brief was to promote the Indian Ocean destinations that are crucial to Kuoni’s business success. But it wasn’t just about promoting those destinations; it was also about delivering a campaign that highlighted the unique differences between the islands and making sure that we didn’t portray Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Seychelles, Reunion Island and the Maldives as all ‘being the same’.

Our approach

We knew that potential customers were researching the differences between different Indian Ocean destinations using searches such as ‘Seychelles vs Maldives’ and ‘Mauritius or Sri Lanka’.

We also knew that image searches for these topics generally returned the same answer over and over again: Clear blue skies and seas, separated by stretches of white sand and dotted with the occasional leaning palm tree. Beautiful. But strangely unenlightening.

We decided to bring to life the differences between the islands by focusing on the tiniest details in the sand beneath the islanders’ feet, something we were confident would be interesting to the media and new and existing Kuoni customers too.

We sourced Harold Tayler, a top microscopic photographer, and Kate Clover, an accredited arenologist (‘sand expert’) based in Minnesota, and had sand samples flown in from the Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion island and Sri Lanka so they could be photographed.

We ended up with 21 incredible, beautiful, original photographs of sand from the different islands and Kate’s expert analysis identified everything from sea urchin spines and coral fragments, to peridot crystals and volcanic basalt.


People visiting the gallery page spend 36% more time on there than the Kuoni average and 47% of the viewers went on to visit other parts of the Kuoni website.

The media loved the images and we were covered on 26 sites, as diverse as Mail Online, Independent Online, Telegraph Online,, The Weather Channel and The Irish Examiner – earning us 30 links too. A targeted Facebook promotion reached over 60,000 people, with 1,605 people engaging with the post and 1,306 clicking through to the Kuoni site. An online coverage book for the campaign is available here.