Virgin Holidays preps ambitious live advert to woo would-be long haul travellers

Virgin Holidays

Virgin Holidays is hoping to widen its consumer net and tempt holidaymakers to book a long-haul trip via an ad that will be shot and live-streamed from 18 different locations around the world.

The 'Seize the Holiday' campaign is a refresh of the Virgin Holidays brand, following its three-year long Unleash your Mojo platform, and comes as the brand looks to appeal to holiday makers who might typically take a holiday in Europe or stay in the UK.

The advert will launch during The X Factor on Saturday 10 September and will see more than 90 production crew film simultaneous scenes as such as surfing in Hawaii, riding the Pacific Coast highway in San Francisco and snorkelling in Barbados. The footage will all be edited live into a 60-second video at ITN Productions’ Master Control Rooms in central London.

“We had tremendous success with Mojo and it was very effective at cutting through a cluttered marketplace,” Claire Cronin Virgin Holidays vice president of customer and marketing told The Drum. “What we are really super aware of is that travel is an increasingly cluttered space, there are new entrants coming in to the market place all the time and in order for us to get cut through, we don’t have the biggest budgets in the world, we need to be innovative so that is what we are trying to do.

“What we were looking to do with this new campaign is talk to a broader audience who might be travelling short haul and really showcase to them that these amazing dream-like holidays are accessible make the brand much more accessible to a much bigger group of people.”

Virgin Holidays is billing the refresh as the biggest in its 31-year history and other elements of the campaign include digital out of home posters that will pull in consumers Instagram pictures uploaded with the #SeizeTheHoliday hashtag and social influencers who will live-stream adventurous experiences such as zip-lining and surfing back to their UK audiences.

While the launch is its biggest to date, Virgin Holidays has kept its marketing budgets flat year on year, instead favouring to invest in customer experience. Its high street travel retail stores now include a V-Room, which has costumes for children and first class seats for adults to try out. It has also introduced a new premium ‘Wonderlist’ product, a unique collection of ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ luxury experiences.

The campaign has been developed by creative advertising agency AMVBBDO, with media buying and planning from Manning Gottlieb OMD.

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