By Chris Sutcliffe, Senior reporter

January 5, 2023 | 4 min read

It’s a scary but true statistic that people who don’t take holidays regularly tend to die sooner, British Airways has pivoted a whole advertising campaign on reminding us of this macabre fact.

50% of working-age UK adults don’t take their full allocation of annual leave, as a result, British Airways Holidays is now urging the public to look into the benefits of holiday-making in a new campaign. The films, created by Uncommon, mark the start of an ongoing series titled ‘Take Your Holiday Seriously’ based around highlighting the positive effects of vacations.

The survey, commissioned by British Airways Holidays with YouGov found that 48% of working Brits have checked their work emails while away, which flies in the face of research suggesting that not taking time off can shorten your life expectancy. However, a 40-year study by the European Society of Cardiology revealed that taking a holiday could help people live longer. British Airways Holidays’ survey also revealed that nearly 79% of those asked agreed that taking a break is good for their mental health.

The hero film at the center of the work depicts a holidaymaker bemoan the British tendency to work on holiday, before destroying her phone in order to not feel obliged to take a work call while at a tiki bar.

The campaign is launched as the cost-of-living crisis begins to bite, with many members of the public suggesting that holidays are among the most likely cuts to their budgets for 2023. That many of the public are prioritizing work over wellbeing is the serious message behind the humorous films.

The work will run on TV, in cinemas and across social media, with more campaign executions launching later in the month.


Project name: Take Your Holiday Seriously
Client: British Airways Holidays
Creative Studio: Uncommon
Production company: Anonymous Content
Producer: Peter Knowles
DOP: Stephen Keith Roach
Editors: Final Cut
Editor: Rick Russell
Producer: Frankie Elster
Post-production: Electric Theatre Company
Colourist: Jason Wallis
VFX Supervisor: Scott Ryan
Producer: Rosie Corbett
Sound Company: Soundtree
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