South African Tourism Reaches Qualified Users with Lookalike Audiences and Lowers CPA by 20%

Success Story

South African Tourism’s goal is to educate travel enthusiasts from around the world about South Africa as a travel destination.


Together with its agency, Universal McCann, the tourism group partnered with Outbrain to distribute high-quality content to their target audience. The content on its website and the native ads developed for the “Start your Safari now” campaign showcased the beauty of South Africa. Ultimately, the target was to reach a qualified and engaged audience.


South African Tourism ran a multi-step campaign. First, it amplified its travel content across Outbrain’s premium publishers and identified a custom audience of users most engaged with their content.

In the next phase, they used Outbrain’s Lookalike Audiences feature to target more users with similar attributes as the custom audience, at scale, across the Outbrain publisher suite.


As a result of this sophisticated targeting approach, South African Tourism were able to reach a CPA (defined as a qualified lead) 20% lower than the campaign goal.

In addition to this sales-driven campaign, South African Tourism also initiated a campaign to drive quality visits to information pages. With Outbrain’s proprietary interest and behavioral data, the company was able to reach a Cost-Per-Visit (defined as 20 seconds or more dwell time on site) 44% lower than the initial goal. In total, the campaign delivered several hundred thousand new and engaged visitors from Outbrain in the course of six months. Furthermore, the campaign achieved many newsletter subscriptions and sweepstake participants.

The Outbrain campaign quickly emerged as the best performer across all our native channels. With Lookalike Audiences, we knew that we would reach users who really are interested in our content. The average time-on-site and the number of page views per session were above average. In addition, we were able to inspire numerous people to travel to South Africa for a very advantageous CPA.“

Luisa Keuler, Group Head Planning, Universal McCann

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