Bravo for repositioning coach holidays
Coach holidays. I’m sure your immediate thoughts are tainted by the memories of scratchy seats on uncomfortably long school trips.
Exactly my first thoughts when top London marketing agency, Accord, asked us to pitch scripted concepts for Leger Holidays’ latest TV commercial promoting their luxury european tours.
But the yesteryear memories were soon dashed at the amazement of Leger’s European tour coaches. Drinks served from the onboard bar, leather recliners, mood lighting in the bathroom. I quickly realised this was far more business class than class trip.
Problem was, if my perception was tainted, then others would be too. And that’s what the big idea needed to address. The challenge was further compounded given a vital part of the brief was to attract those more used to cruising and flying into Europe.
The key to this ad was therefore not to show the coach too soon for fear of the audience’s instant judgement and dismissal. But how do you create intrigue for coach holidays without showing the coach?
The answer was to make the ad look like a trailer for a new big-budget epic TV drama. Given the ads would be aired during prime time ad breaks in Emmerdale and Coronation Street, if we could make the audience think “ooooh this looks good, what channel is this on?” we’d have them hooked.
And to make a coach holiday dramatic… you turn it into a heist!
As well as all the drama we needed, the heist concept enabled us to overtly cover every aspect of Leger’s service; the local ‘rendezvous’ pickup points, the ‘getaway’ drivers, the tour guides’ ‘intelligence’, and “surveillance! Don’t forget the cameras… you won’t want to miss this” etc.
To demonstrate the ease of it all, while taking direct aim at those who cruise and fly, we wrote the clever line “Pick your route and then it’s all plain sailing, well without the planes or the sailing”. A line the client loved so much, they trademarked it.
Our creative support continued into the production company tender process, casting, recce throughout Italy, on-location direction, and creative consultancy throughout the shoot to ensure our concept was brought to life as per our original vision.
Furthermore, Bravo’s go-to music producer Nick Kozuch wrote and produced the advert’s soundtrack where the underlying melody and rhythm were based on the key syllables of Leger’s tagline ‘you’re in good company’.
As well as making an impact on audiences and results, as Liam Race (CEO of Leger Shearings Group) says, the ad has also disrupted the industry too:
“From 1 January to the end of March, some 46 million people have seen it [the advert]. It’s brought an uplift in our unprompted brand awareness by some 30% and helped raise the profile of the industry too.”
Our creative and strategic thinking saw the ad’s concept from brief to broadcast. And while there were many challenges along the way (including getting approval from The Vatican), like all good heists, we pulled it off.
• Concept creation
• Casting support
• On-set art direction
• Music production
Scroll down to view the ad and behind-the-scenes photos