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Travel adverts ‘too simplistic’

THE
multiples need to raise their game in TV advertising to appeal to a
sophisticated public, according to ABTA president John Harding.

Adverts
from travel agents appealed to the “lowest common denominator” and
were “too simplistic” in their approach claimed Harding, who was one
of a panel of judges at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Travel Industry
Group Television Advertising Showcase. “The public are more
sophisticated,” he said.

Agent
campaigns shown included the Lunn Poly ‘getaway’ advert which was dismissed as
bland and too complicated by the panel, which included senior advertising and
marketing executives.

Going
Places’ ‘clever booker’ campaign could have been an advert for Ebookers,
according to EasyJet marketing director David Magliano and was also dismissed
as bland by Tiger Savage, head of art at London-based advertising agency M and
C Saatchi.

Harding
also criticised the new British Tourist Authority’s Enjoy England campaign
which features a range of people arguing about which type of holiday was best
in the country.

“The
advert is a caricature of English regionalism,” he said. “The message
that came across was that no-one was agreeing with each other, which makes you
think ‘don’t bother’,” he said.

An advert
from the Jamaica Tourist Board was singled out for praise by Harding for
including details of operators Virgin Holidays, Thomson and Kuoni and advising
viewers to contact a travel agent. “Tourist offices often present
tremendous images and then leave people in the air about where to go
next,” he said. Using premium rate numbers for tourist offices was another
bad habit which should be addressed, he added.

The British
Airways’ flatbed campaign – featuring a man going to sleep in New York’s Times
Square and waking in London’s Piccadilly Circus  – was voted the overall best advert by the panel.

 

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