P&O Ferries urges travellers to head ‘To the sea’ in new campaign by Publicis.Poke

The ad conjures up notions of escapism and frames ferry travel as a convenient option when holiday planning.

Escapism: 'To the sea' celebrates the liberation of ocean travel
Escapism: 'To the sea' celebrates the liberation of ocean travel

P&O Ferries has launched its first campaign to mark post-pandemic travel entitled "To the sea".

Created by Steve Paskin and Josh Norbury at Publicis.Poke, a teaser film A Calling emerged in February this year, with the main 60-second TV spot airing today (Wednesday).

Drawing on the sea as a liberating force, the ad, directed by Si & Ad through Academy, conjures up notions of escapism and frames ferry travel as a convenient option when holiday planning.

Sarah Rosier, director of passenger sales, P&O Ferries, said: “Many older folk will nostalgically remember hopping on to a ferry for the holiday to France as youngsters, but for the easyJet and Airbnb generation, ferry travel is not as front of mind when planning a holiday.

“As a market leader that for more than 180 years has ferried curious travellers on their dream adventures, we have the foundations to inspire this intrepid generation and feed their desire for freedom by rediscovering the uniqueness of ferry travel for years to come.”

The soundtrack of the TV spot is by 1950s Polynesian poet, musician, artist and professional basketball player Paul Page and the brand line "To the sea" is hand-crafted by multi-award-winning typographist Allison Carmichael.

Dave Monk, executive creative director at Publicis.Poke, said: “‘To the sea’ is not only a glass-raising salute to the oceans, but an open invitation to adventure. To pack up the car, van, motorhome or sidecar and head over the horizon. Like the whole country, this campaign has been patiently waiting on land while we all waited for the borders and regulations to open, and pun utterly intended, it’s finally setting sail. A timeless idea that couldn’t be more timely.”

Media strategy, planning and buying was handled by Starcom and the TV campaign will continue until 5 September, supported by cut-downs featuring on video-on-demand and social, and then rerun with other elements as radio, press and out-of-home to follow into the new year.

Running concurrently with the TV ad is a digital content series, "Ferry Tales", which showcases the adventures P&O Ferries make possible – like cycling from Edinburgh to Munich and surfing in Northern Ireland and the west coast of Scotland.

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