History & Background adventure travel site was launched in 1996

Sold to Waterland Private Equity (VC) in 2003

Propagater contracted to “professionalize marketing” from March 2006

Shoestring sold to Kuoni Group Switzerland in Jan. 2007

Propagater contracted to manage European expansion

Shoestring HQ starts in Lugano; May 2007

Soft launch of via Shoestring Shoreditch Festival in Oct. 2007

London Launch 6,7,8,9 Feb. 2008

Launch Shoestring .de/.es/.it/.com in 2008/2009

All led by Propagater, which formed coalition with MEC Europe based in Dusseldorf, Saatchi &Saatchi Milan, SLAM PR in London, MTV Europe.


Key Points

Objective to build an entirely new online travel brand – Shoestring adventure vacations

Clear positioning and guidelines yet flexible per market

Credibility vital – hence partnership with MTV Europe and MTV Awards

Digital/Search engines etc. important but more/richer recall and “experience” required

23-35 age group, but careful variance by market: Germany – students, UK – workers, Italy/Spain – young execs.

Brand consistency key for efficiency while leveraging local history/culture/values/prejudices

“Now – Adventure is closer than you ever thought possible” Live cool but never, ever say it.



Brand successfully introduced to tough-to reach target group

Same vivid, adventurous, cool personality but with local strategies

‘Appropriate creative’ – high recognition

€8m deployed – value was + €18m + Awards for Ads and promo feeder sites like

Nominated for Effies and Cannes Lions

…A full arsenal of marketing weapons available, tested and refined for use in roll-out markets.



Press coverage


MTV European Music Awards



London launch party


prop·a·gate (prp-gt)

1. To cause (an organism) to multiply or breed. 2. To transmit (characteristics) from one generation to another. 3. To extend to broader areas or larger number; spread. 4. To make widely known; propagate a message.