British Airways: ‘Take your holiday seriously’ campaign

Hands up if you ever check your work emails while you’re on holiday? 

YouGov research shows that the majority of people (60%) who use email for work check their inboxes while on holiday. This is despite the fact that eight in ten workers (80%) would prefer to ‘completely switch off’ when they’re on holiday.

We all know a digital detox is good for us but it can be challenging to not look at emails when they are so easily accessible on our phones. And even more so when we run our own businesses. 

That’s why I like this playful campaign from British Airways, created in partnership with Uncommon Creative Studio.

The ‘take your holiday seriously’ campaign has been designed to encourage us to make the most of their holiday and protect our headspace when we’re away from our day job. 

Take a look at the different ‘out of office’ messages overlaid on stunning backdrops of holiday destinations.

The 'take your holiday seriously' campaign - LinkedIn post - Shashank Nigam

Why this works

✅ We’re used to seeing giant billboard adverts from airlines sharing stunning scenery and attractive holiday destinations. So what grabs our attention is the ‘out of office’ email text overlay, complete with sender name and profile image and email subject line. It’s a great art direction and copywriting partnership.

✅ The playful, bold tongue in cheek messages, like – “I have received your email. Hold on while I put down my drink, get off my day bed, find my laptop, ignore my entire family and reply. Oh wait! I’m not going to do that” – are funny because they are relatable. (Guilty of taking your laptop on holiday?) 

✅ The campaign’s timed well in terms of tapping into current hot topics and conversations about work/life balance and mental health. People are being encouraged to take their holidays seriously, or rather lightly – but with proper, serious commitment. And perhaps the campaign is also inadvertently helping to break down the barrier of people wearing burnout like a badge.


Learnable moments

🤔 How can we use more human insights and research data to inform our campaigns? This seemingly simple but relatable campaign creatively gets to the nub of how we’re not switching off when we’re meant to be – and more importantly – want to be. 

🌴 Which of the four ‘out of office’ messages will you be taking inspiration from this year? Whether you’re on holiday or out of the office for the day, why not refresh your next ‘OOO’ message so it aligns with your brand voice. Just like Elaine Gosden at Blue Gnu Consulting has done, shared by Marketing Consultant Sarah Badcock on LinkedIn.

You could even use your ‘out of office’ message as an opportunity to promote something business-related like a free useful resource or top three blogs.

⌚ Time to review your boundaries? If you’re a solo consultant, outsourcing can help you take a proper break and prevent you from checking your emails when you should be 100% concentrating on other more important things. Read ‘How to effectively outsource when you dislike delegating’ for tips and advice from a Bristol-based PR & Communications Consultant on how she approached outsourcing.

Just for fun 

Try out Hubspot’s out of office generator tool.

Looking for an extra pair of experienced hands in 2023? 

If you have plans to scale your business this year and are curious about working together, here’s the link you need to book in for a 15-minute chat so we can see if working together would be a good fit. Bring a cuppa! ☕ 

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