The advertising has started

By | Category: Travel rumblings
Windsor Bridge in Gibraltar

The Windsor Bridge in Gibraltar. Much more appealing imagery for a holiday than TUI’s ad. Image © Gibraltar Tourist Board

Even before Christmas Day has passed, at least four travel organisations are off to a flying start in promoting themselves on television. I am thinking of the sale by Virgin Holidays, a generic advertising campaign by TUI and promotions by both Gibraltar and Ireland.

And what a mixed bunch we have.

Virgin Holidays as kicked off with shots of places whedre they have holidays. Nothing special, but you can understand it and it doesn’t try to be clever.

The same can be said of the two ads featuring Gibraltar and Ireland. There are images of Gibraltar as the destination tries to entice us to holiday there which is pretty much the same as the Ireland commercial. With a beguiling voiceover in a sing-song Irish lit, the ad shows us shots of both the Republic and the north. Once again, it is pretty obvious what the message is.

I can’t say the same for the TUI advert.

It assumes that we all know what TUI is because nowhere does it really say that it is a holiday company. It could be an advert for a family relationship counselling service as it seems to show a teenager unenamoured with being taken to a hotel, Except that as her mother emerges from a taxi (we see no plane and no airport so the ad could be about staying in any hotel. In fact it was shot in Turkey but who would know. It could be almost any resort) with a pseudo dance.

Titanic museum

Titanic belfast appear in the Ireland ad of appealing holiday destinations

Although in a strop the teenager also tries a little dance, hesitatingly at first (great choreography a la Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly it ain’t)  until eventually the two dance around at the end of the one minute ad and the word ”Reunite” over the screen and the voiceover saying “Discover your smile” and “ATOL protected.” It is only the latter words that suggest this ad is about travel.

This ad is supposed to continue the re-branding from Thomson to TUI and, I suppose, establish that the company is no longer a tour operator but a “holiday experience company.” It doesn’t entice me to go to a pretty standard resort that contains nothing out-of-the ordinary. And after its annual results which suggest that the UK market dipped in sales is this ad going to do anything to pull bookers in?

All-in-all I’d book with a competitor that does try to stimulate my interest in a holiday which is what Gibraltar, Ireland and Virgin Holidays manage with their more direct ads!

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