Ad of the Day: Virgin Holidays creates a world where straight tourists receive LGBTQ+ treatment

Virgin Holidays is publicising its plan to become ‘one of the friendliest LGBTQ+ companies in travel’ with the release of a new film, which imagines a world in which a straight couple on honeymoon are faced with the discrimination that LGBTQ+ partners regularly endure while on holiday.

Created by One Green Bean and released in partnership with media brand Attn, the spot follows the protagonists as they go about the usual tropes of holidaying in sunnier climes: helping one another apply sun cream, lounging in a Jacuzzi and hiring bikes.

Their holiday is marred, however, by the attitudes of the resort staff and fellow guests around them. They’re either referred to by strangers as somewhat of a novelty (“You must the fun, straight couple at the resort!”) or are flatly discriminated against – being asked not to kiss at a restaurant and being laughed at by the bellboy.

The video was created to support new research from the travel brand, which found that only one in 20 of LGBTQ+ travellers are at ease showing affection to a partner abroad. One in three of those surveyed said they had experienced discrimination in the form of judgement and ridicule, while one in 10 had been threatened with physical violence because of their sexuality on holiday.

Joe Thompson, managing director at Virgin Holidays, said: “Holidays should be relaxing, fun and full of adventure. Unfortunately for LGBTQ+ people this still isn’t always the case.

"We want everyone to take on the world and that’s why we’re working with one of the biggest issues driven publishers to continue to raise awareness of the issues faced by LGBTQ+ travelers on holiday, and to work with our partners abroad, to give customers the best experience possible.”

Katie Deighton

Katie Deighton is The Drum’s senior reporter - creative and video based in London. She produces, films, presents and edits the title’s editorial video output, including series such as On The Scene, Ad Breakers and Why I Left Advertising, and manages its coverage of the creative sector. She also reports on the intersection between politics and marketing, as well as the third sector and fashion.

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