Last year we spotlighted an Axis Bank commercial out of India that addressed the anxiety many Indians feel when traveling abroad. International travel is increasing as India’s middle class expands, but consumers are still adjusting to the idea of leaving their comfort zone. A new Thomas Cook campaign from JWT targets foreign-travel newbies who are less cosmopolitan than residents of international cities like Delhi and Mumbai—the cohort most likely to get stressed out about straying far afield.
The most humorous of three TV spots shows a flummoxed family stumbling into a kinky bar (a sort of modern version of Cabaret’s Kit Kat Club), which turns out to be the lobby of the hotel they’ve booked, Golden Mangoes. “Don’t just book it,” would-be travelers are advised as the Thomas Cook logo pops up along with the words “Travel smooth.” Other spots show some young women getting ripped off by shady money changers and two guys enduring a tour led by a scary-looking guy speaking a foreign language.
JWT’s Tista Sen told Ad Age: “In spite of the perfect planning and online checks and calculations, the Indian traveler usually gets it all wrong. Everybody comes back from exotic locations with some horror story.” By reminding travelers of those stories, Thomas Cook presents itself as an easy solution to travel jitters.