Virgin Holidays to stream live global ad in brand refresh

Virgin Holidays will stream a live ad shot from 18 locations around the world as it unveils its biggest brand refresh in 31 years.

More than 90 production crew will film simultaneously from tourism destinations including Hawaii, San Francisco, Bangkok, Dubai and Barbados. The footage will then be edited live into a 60-second ad at ITN Productions’ Master Control Room in London and aired during ITV’s The X Factor on 10 September.

The live ad comes as Virgin Holidays launches a new marketing platform, "Seize the holiday", which will replace its "Unleash your mojo" theme that has run since 2013. The spot will show a UK audience what other people are experiencing on their ideal holidays and urge them to plan their own trips.

In addition to TV, the campaign will run across VOD, OOH, press, radio, digital, mobile, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

The other executions will also include live broadcasting elements, such as digital out-of-home posters that will pull in consumers’ Instagram photos uploaded with the #SeizeTheHoliday hashtag. 

Ant Nelson and Mike Sutherland at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO created the campaign. AMV BBDO won Virgin Holidays’ £5m advertising business earlier this year after the brand split with M&C Saatchi.

The ad is directed by Simon Ratigan and co-produced by ITN Productions and HLA. Manning Gottlieb OMD handled media buying and planning. 

Campaign went behind the scenes to speak with Virgin Holidays about the strategy behind the live ad: 

Claire Cronin, vice president of customer and marketing for Virgin Holidays, said: "This is the single biggest and most ambitious brand exercise we have ever undertaken. We have looked at everything from our business purpose, to our brand platform, to what channels we use to communicate with customers.

"If you’re spending your Saturday night on the couch, or trudging to work on the Underground, and we’re able to show you the wonderful adventures thousands of other people are enjoying with us at that very moment, we’re confident it will strike a chord."

Earlier this year, on a smaller scale, Waitrose live-streamed an ad from one of its dairy farms to show their customers where their food comes from in a campaign created by Adam & Eve/DDB.