Big Bus Award blog

Oban International wins at E-Commerce Awards 2023 with Big Bus Tours campaign

In a tale of triumph over adversity, Oban secured a win in the Cross-Border category at the prestigious E-Commerce Awards 2023 for its paid media collaboration with Big Bus Tours. The campaign showed how resilience and adaptability in paid media can drive exceptional results, especially in the face of unforeseen challenges.

Big Bus Tours, one of the biggest names in sightseeing, faced significant setbacks because of the pandemic. However, through strategic collaboration with Oban and a robust paid media approach, they not only weathered the storm but witnessed a remarkable 33% increase in revenue in a cross-border campaign targeting 23 cities.

This success story demonstrates the power of a well-crafted paid media strategy that in this case, was based on three key pillars:

1. Catching up:

  • Reviewing and optimising keywords, logos, and ads

2. Post-Covid adaptations:

    • Implementing Smart Bidding
    • Restructuring 120+ campaigns
    • Enhancing keyword grouping and targeting
    • Balancing manual and automated bidding strategies

3. Continuous growth:

    • Enhancing ad relevance and performance
    • Testing innovative strategies for broader reach
    • Leveraging dynamic ads and multilingual opportunities
    • Iterating the campaign for sustainable competitive advantage


The result – a remarkable 33% uplift in revenue – not only matched but surpassed pre-pandemic achievements. The campaign is a case study for marketers seeking to understand the optimal blend of manual and Smart Bidding, providing crucial insights for achieving a lasting competitive edge.

One of the critical aspects of this campaign was the meticulous campaign structure and bespoke user journeys designed for diverse audiences. A granular approach allowed for better targeting and resonance with specific customer segments, emphasising the need to tailor strategies to meet unique needs and preferences.

The campaign also demonstrated the immense value of exploring multilingual opportunities in digital marketing. The ability to connect with audiences in their native languages significantly bolstered engagement and conversions, underscoring the importance of an international, culturally aware marketing approach in today’s interconnected world.

Louise Aldridge, Head of Digital Marketing at Big Bus Tours, said, “Perhaps the most valuable lesson from this success story is the emphasis on continuous iteration and optimisation. The team at Oban International showed that continually refining and adjusting campaigns can lead to sustainable growth and competitive advantage in the ever-evolving digital landscape.”

Sarah Jennings, CEO at Oban International, said, “We are honoured to be recognised by the E-Commerce Awards. This recognition reinforces our belief in the power of strategic partnerships and the ability to adapt and innovate, even in challenging times. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved and the positive impact it has had on Big Bus Tours’ growth and success.”

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To find out how Oban and its unique network of Local In-Market Experts can help accelerate your brand’s international growth, please get in touch.

Oban International is the digital marketing agency specialising in international expansion.
Our LIME (Local In-Market Expert) Network provides up to date cultural input and insights from over 80 markets around the world, helping clients realise the best marketing opportunities and avoid the costliest mistakes.

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