The Best Travel Adverts That Kick Started 2016
Get in touch
Pixel8 graphic design and web development blog

we're clever bloggers

You are here

The Best Travel Advertisements That Kick-Started 2016

The Best Travel Advertisements That Kick-Started 2016

Every year we see the same thing in January: a barrage of travel and leisure adverts designed to tempt us to get the credit card out and purchase a holiday escape for the summer months.

It's human nature.

After the decadence of Christmas, and the long winter nights looming ahead for the foreseeable future, we can't help but want to warm our bones under the sun, book in hand with wafts of suntan lotion drifting through the sea breeze, ahhh... where were we?! Ah yes.

We know this, the travel companies know this, and so 2016 brought an array of cocktail umbrellas and beautiful tanned bodies onto prime time television, our desktops, and mobile phones. Social media has also been infiltrated with holiday offers we simply can't miss.

If it's all been a bit much, we recommend that you don't read the following article, but as brand builders and marketers, we find this type of travel and leisure advertising fascinating. 

And so we've collated the best travel adverts of the year so far! And we’re also going to provide a few hints and tips for those of you who are marketers in the travel and leisure industry as to how you can recreate similar results for yourself.

So get your notepads out, your sunglasses on, and listen up!


The first advert to make our hitlist is Kuoni's new year sale promotion. The advertisement begins with a woman walking on the waterbed of a beautiful ocean with the voice over saying, ‘We could tell you how amazing it was, but it wouldn’t be your amazing...’

Kuoni are urging their target customers to ' find their amazing', something very personal to the individual, but something that Kuoni are more than qualified to help travellers with. And what's more, it's accessible because of their offer.

What works exceedingly well about this advert is that Kuoni are selling their services as something that is extra special, and their advertisement intrigues the audience by offering something more than the average holiday package, and it's affordable too! The winning combination of clever advertising and marketing.

If you want to stand out from the competition, like Kuoni, then we guess you need to 'find the amazing' for your brand.

  • What makes your brand different and a cut above the rest?
  • What are the special details your customer needs to know about?
  • How can you connect on a deeper level?

These are all questions you should be asking yourself every day as a travel and leisure marketer. The key to sales and customer loyalty is pinning down your brand essence - all marketing activity will then fall from this naturally.


Thomas Cook

The next advert on the list was actually released towards the end of December, Thomas Cook were clearly getting a head start on the competition in 2016.

The advert features a gorgeous pool the morning before a day of fun in the sun, and then a little boy begins dancing his way around the sunbeds to some rap music, much to the amusement of the pool’s lifeguard.

The Thomas Cook message is to ‘be bold, you’re on holiday.’ It’s a unique advert that’s fun to watch, which might explain why it’s doing so well.

Incorporating humour into an ad can certainly improve how people receive it - so keep this in mind if you want to create a successful campaign yourself.

Humour is very much a personal thing but successful marketers across all sectors and industries know that market research goes a long way to help you tap into your target audience. Before launching any campaign it is common sense to test different versions on a focus group and to get their genuine thoughts and feedback.

Do this and you will guarantee your campaign launch isn't a [flip] flop!

Sorry. have certainly been pushing it out again this January too.

Their most famous advert to date begins with a man and his family waving goodbye to the team on a holiday island. The voiceover  tells the story of them going home, but when the man decides he isn’t going home at all, the voiceover suddenly takes another more comical direction!

Once more, are using humour to appeal to their audience, their use of the word booking said very quickly -  which sounds like another, rather controversial piece of vocabulary - received many complaints but it holds the audience’s attention, and will be remembered. 

If you're looking to recreate this type of marketing campaign with a hint of controversy we would recommend that you do your homework with advertising agency standards and seek out a professional advertising agency's opinion too. 



Thomson has taken on a different kind of angle with their latest advert ready for January 2016 and use everybody’s favourite Queen song, Bohemian Rhapsody. 

The main character in the advert is a bear who has one eye and a smile much like the Thomson logo. He’s travelling around the world in the backpack of a traveller, and the advert ends with a close-up of his face as he happily looks out over the ocean.

The tagline is ‘Discover your smile,’ and this advert works because even though some days it's hard to find your smile, if a broken teddy bear can find his happiness on a Thomson holiday, perhaps you can too.

By connecting to the audience on a deeper, more personal level, you have won the hearts of your audience almost instantly.

This emotional marketing technique is used across the board with all successful travel and leisure advertising.


First Choice

First Choice offer all-inclusive holidays, and they sell their product very well in their latest advert. 

Throughout the advertisement, the protagonist is searching for her ‘Heart’s desire’, which in this advert is embodied as an ice cream van which initially seems unattainable. 

The beautifully filmed advert then sees the woman diving into a lake in the UK only to resurface in an exotic First Choice holiday location. 

First Choice craftily then showcase all their holiday offerings in one fell swoop, the protagonist it seems, has found her heart’s desire  and is seen tucking into a decadent ice cream in the final shot.

What’s so clever about this advert is it literally shows someone escaping from life and running away. We all tend to book holidays at this time of year because we want to do precisely that - so First Choice have appealed to the desire in all of us, our weak spot, and showed an understanding of how we're all really feeling.

And a solution to our feelings, too. Pulling at the heart strings, First Choice have managed to profile their offering and our personal heart’s desire in his clever advertisement.


Pixel8’s Top Travel Adverts

So there you have it,  our top travel adverts that have kicked things off in 2016! But what do you think? Are there any we’ve missed out?

Be sure to let us know if so on Twitter.

We love working within the travel and leisure sector, and we have a wide range of branding and digital marketing experiences with this type of clientele.

If you’d like to find out more about entering into a creative relationship with pixel8 then be sure to give us a call on 0161 228 6489. You can also drop us an email at




Get in touch...

If you want to understand how our Smarter Within approach can work for your business, simply email us at or call us direct on 0161 228 6489. You're also very welcome to join us for a coffee and discuss how we can help you work smarter for the future.