Turn-of-year campaigns start to change direction

Travel agent stars and a rapping family are among the highlights of this year’s turn-of-year advertising campaigns.

But with some brands opting to ditch their TV presence, and others recycling or repackaging existing videos, strategies around the traditional post-Christmas peaks campaign appear to be changing.

Kuoni has dropped its TV presence for the first time in five years, with two agents taking centre stage online. Store managers Dave Stone (Kingston) and Carrie Grant (Newcastle) were filmed in-store and in Thailand talking about their roles. Marketing director Dean Harvey said: “TV is effective for brand messages [but] we felt the brand job had been done over the five years. All our messages are about the fact that we have been there and can tell you about it.”

Royal Caribbean has also moved away from TV in what it called “a groundbreaking” decision.

Its ‘This is how to holiday’ campaign will run across digital, social, video-on-demand and radio, with voiceovers from Victoria actress Jenna Coleman. Mario Bounas, UK marketing director, said the shift away from TV was “to move with the times” as half of its passengers are now under the age of 50.

First Choice, meanwhile, has “injected attitude”. Its ‘Go Mahoosive with the all-inclusive’ campaign features the ‘Turner family’ rapping lyrics such as “grand masters of the all-inclusive” and “the maestros of all you can eat” when ‘bragging’ about their holiday with the Tui-owned brand.

Tui UK marketing and customer experience director Jeremy Ellis said: “First Choice is about fun. This ad captures the euphoria we want our customers to experience.”

Tui, following its rebrand in October, is sticking with its recent TV advert where a woman dressed in red is the “star of an epic holiday finale”, as it hammers home its name change from Thomson.

Jet2holidays retains its advert that follows a child exploring a resort to the tune of Jess Glynne’s Hold My Hand. A spokesman said it  was “doing phenomenally well in capturing the Jet2holidays spirit”.

P&O Cruises is also sticking to a familiar theme, with comedian and actor Rob Brydon in a starring role for a third time in a new advert.

Virgin Holidays is running the same advert as last year – with hundreds of people and inflatables spelling out the word ‘sale’ in the sea – while OTA Kayak’s new ad will not be out until February.

Although some have dropped TV advertising, big money is still being spent on marketing campaigns to kick-start the key selling period.

It is Kuoni’s largest peaks spend and includes radio for the first time; First Choice’s rap video cost “multiple millions”; and Shearings’ TV ad, due to go live on December 27, will push its worldwide and river cruise product to show it does more than coach holidays in its “biggest-ever” turn-of-year campaign.

Thomas Cook’s turn-of-year activity is yet to be revealed and remains closely under wraps.

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