Saga evokes 1970s misery to promote modern cruises

sagaOver 50s specialist Saga is turning back the clock to recreate classic holiday scenes from the 1970s in all their miserable detail for its latest TV blitz, designed to promote the organisation’s modern day boutique cruises.

The film, by VCCP London, is part of an integrated campaign designed in partnership with VCCP Media, VCCP CX and Someone, which promotes Saga while reminding consumers of how holidays have changed for the better.

It recalls wry memories of nostalgic car journeys, romantic town hall dances and relaxing days by the pool… albeit sometimes in a rainstorm.

The TV spot will open this week and is the latest execution in Saga’s ‘Experience is Everything’ strategic brand relaunch, unveiled in October. The new creative will be accompanied by social, digital and print.

Once again it features actor Nicholas Farrell, who starred in The Crown and Torchwood, and is set on board Saga’s newest ocean cruise ship, “Spirit of Adventure”, showcasing the décor, food and entertainment that can be found on board.

The film opens with Farrell walking while taking a drink from the ship’s North Cape Bar, where he then stops to gaze outside and warmly reflect back in a savvy fashion (and with a couple of raised eyebrows) on those holidays of the past.

The film then cuts to remade footage from the 1970s, showing children swimming in the rain, grumpy kids begrudgingly posing for family photos, car breakdowns and holiday park tribute bands.

It then returns to the Saga cruise ship where Farrell can be seen relaxing at a table with his wife, while tucking into canapés and soaking up the social atmosphere on board.

“Well, those were the days…” he says before turning to his wife with a raised eyebrow, “weren’t they?”. The voiceover concludes “Boutique cruises for those who deserve a bit of luxury” with the final titles reading: “Saga. Experience is Everything.”

Saga Group chief customer officer Stuart Beamish said: “We launched our new ‘Experience is Everything’ campaign in October and it couldn’t be truer when it comes to travel.

“Our customers know what they like because they’ve been there and done that, from backpacking student adventures, exotic honeymoons and holidays with a young family to modern day adventures. To celebrate all their experiences, our ad reflects back wryly on those memorable 1970s breaks versus the luxury of our Saga boutique cruises today.”

VCCP London executive creative director Jim Thornton added: “We had so much fun making this, recreating classic holiday scenes from the 1970s in all their miserable detail. It’s hard for anyone under 50 to appreciate just how different the world was: cars broke down, the corners of the UK were as exotic as holidays got, and the weather was always terrible.

“But for those of us who actually experienced the ’70s, it’s safe to say while we’ll remember these holidays forever, we’re also seriously glad to pack them away in our memory box. Holidays now are more on par with Saga’s brand-new luxury cruise ship, which is the perfect place to enjoy all the benefits the post-1970s world has to offer. Like great food, the Internet, and staff who aren’t permanently on strike.”

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