Escapism has always been at the heart of holiday marketing. Yet all too often that escapism is rooted in the notion consumers are primarily seeking to get as far away as possible from their own lives. It’s a marketing narrative that drove the creation of the ‘Blue Monday’ myth; a highly un-scientific PR stunt by the now defunct Sky Travel agency which claimed to identify the most depressing day of the year.
This somewhat depressing narrative is particularly prevalent in January, which has always been a pivotal month for the travel industry, accounting for up to 20% of all summer holiday bookings.
It is an ecosystem which makes Iris’ latest work for Haven so refreshing. An ad which opposed to selling escapism sells something so much better; sheer unadulterated joy.
‘The Beach Boy’, which launched on Boxing Day, brings to life the imagination of a small boy playing on the beach with his dog. The epic spot features the boy victoriously speeding along the UK shoreline in a magnificent horse-drawn chariot with onlookers watching in awe before bringing us back to reality to show the boy with his dog, the chariot being a beautiful act of the young boy's vivid imagination. The campaign also highlights Haven’s partnership with Team GB.
Blue Monday may be the stuff of marketing myths but a purely joyful ad, highlighting the best of the British seaside is a welcome tonic.
The truth is that travel marketing is rarely based on making consumers feel good about their day to day lives. A trend reflected in the brands turning to a vision of travel driven by the social media driven curse of ‘compare and despair’, where consumers’ primary reason for travel is to share idyllic snaps across social media.
This spot successfully hits a pure, joyful tone to show the very best of life doesn’t need an Instagram filter; there is no substitute for a child’s imagination.