Virgin Holidays goes live from around the World

This ambitious ad saw more than 90 production crew film simultaneous scenes as varied as surfing in Hawaii, riding the Pacific Coast highway in San Francisco and snorkelling in Barbados – all whilst it was edited live into a 60-second video at ITN Productions’ Master Control Room in central London.

The live advert was the launch moment for the biggest brand refresh in Virgin Holidays 31-year history.  A new marketing platform Seize The Holiday replaced the Unleash Your Mojo proposition that has been running since 2013.  The new campaign is designed to show a UK audience that people just like them are experiencing their ideal holidays, at this very moment – with a strong call to action for them to Seize The Holiday

The advert launched during The X Factor as part of ITV’s Proud to Present initiative and was introduced by a bespoke creative voiceover.  In addition to extensive television scheduling the new campaign also ran across VOD, OOH, Press, Radio, Digital, Mobile, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Elements of ‘live’ broadcasting were woven throughout other campaign touch-points; such as digital out of home posters that pulled in consumers Instagram pictures uploaded with the #SeizeTheHoliday hashtag and social influencers who live-streamed adventurous experiences such as zip-lining and surfing back to their UK audiences.  It was a major challenge to provide the right level of authenticity, as Jason Stone of David Reviews remarks: 

‘We're going to assume this was achieved by actually carrying out the insanely difficult task of co-ordinating a global panoply of holiday activities and hoping for the best. Only California let the side down but this failure enhances the sense that we're watching an attempt at something that's nigh-on impossible. Indeed, we'd go so far as to suggest that a slicker execution would have robbed this of its energy and that the flaws are entirely necessary.’

Virgin Holidays VP of Customer and Marketing, Claire Cronin, commented:  “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.” 

Virgin Holidays Head of Brand, Consumer Marketing & Reputation, Jay Kossifos commented:  “In times of profound and wide-ranging change, we at Virgin Holidays believe that challenging rules and traditional models is crucial to being competitive.  Convention and uniformity is just not our bag.  We challenge ourselves daily to be brave, to try new things and most importantly to have fun while doing it.  This attitude is core to our DNA.”

Richard Arscott, Managing Director AMV BBDO, commented:  “This has been such an exciting campaign for us to work on with Virgin Holidays.  It has been a great opportunity to explore such an innovative way to reach the consumer, in the most direct way possible, by airing the first-ever ad streamed live from around the globe.”

Campaign Credits:

Virgin Holidays:

  • Managing Director:  Mark Anderson
  • VP of Customer and Marketing:  Claire Cronin
  • Head of Brand, Customer Marketing & Reputation:  Jay Kossifos


  • Creative:  Ant Nelson, Mike Sutherland
  • Production:  Anita Sasdy, Frankie Burwell-Wright
  • Account Management:  Richard Arscott, Alex Bird, Alicia Lowndes, Ned Paterson, Vanessa Wise
  • Strategy:  Lilian Sor, Matt Jones
  • Project Management:  Sabrina Coreeba


  • Director: Simon Rattigan
  • Exec Producer: Mike Wells
  • Production Manager: Daniel Carter

ITN Productions:

  • Head of Commercials: Adam Barnett
  • Exec Producer: Jemma Cassey
  • Production Managers: Nancy Eite-Cooper, Emma Copeland
  • Technical Director: Steve Gore-Smith
  • Gallery Director: Jon Bennett

Manning Gottlieb OMD:

  • Account Management: Katrina Bozicevich, Tainah de Pauli, Becca Peachey, Mark Linnett
  • Strategy: Zehra Chatoo
  • Investment: Sam Ashlin, Jaimee Croot, Jon Smale
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