Travel Weekly, the respected trade publication for the travel industry, asked SoundOut to test a selection of broadcast ads showing during the key January to March 2018 holiday booking season. Travel Weekly gave us a list of ads which ranged from The Great Rail Way and P&O Cruise’s Memories campaigns to the song and dance-based concepts from TUi, First Choice and Thomas Cook.
Commenting on the results, David Courtier-Dutton, SoundOut founder and CEO, said:
“Overall it was the more relaxing adverts that performed best – one’s rooted in reality that depicted wonderful holidays and made the viewers relax – eg The Great Rail Way, Memories and This is Shearings. The more contrived and unrelaxing the adverts were the less the viewers enjoyed them (e.g. Rocking It (Thomas Cook), Let’s get you to the beach (On the beach) and First Choice). Unsurprisingly the cruise adverts played well to the older demographics.
“The Great Rail Way was top with 76% and universally liked, the voiceover by Joanna Lumley was hugely popular - viewers commented on her ‘warm and soothing tones’ and her ‘breathless sensuality’ and this combined well with the beautiful visuals and scenery. The overall sense of enjoyment and relaxation came across very well (with the exception of the art gallery clip that was the only slight stumble causing engagement to drop off for all demographics).
“In contrast, First Choice trailed all the others by some margin and was one of the least liked commercials we have ever tested. 70% is the minimum rating an advertiser should be shooting for and this came in at just 53% overall, with 25-34 year old males rating it just 46%. The second-by-second engagement trace tracked down throughout the entire advert suggesting that consumers liked it less and less the more they watched. Only 16-24 year old females enjoyed the first 30 seconds but beyond that, they too were dialing down for the next 2 minutes.
“Key themes in the 25,000 words of written reviews of the commercial were just how annoying it was ‘Everything about this advert is annoying’, ‘It reminds me of everything I don't like on holiday; annoying families, loud music, loudness in general and tackiness’. On top of this people did not like the characters. ‘Hate this with a passion and they deserve to go bust for actually putting this advert out’, ‘Would hate to watch again and would not go near their website to look at deals’.”