Don’t Vacation in the Office, Says This Hilariously Deadpan Ad From Virgin Atlantic

Not all it's cracked up to be

Headshot of Angela Natividad

The U.S. is the only industrialized country in the world with no minimum paid vacation leave, which at least explains the in-office purgatory many people suffer over the summer. The U.K., however, scores No. 7 for average number of paid vacation days (37!), making it a little less clear why one in three Brits would shirk that time to fill out more TSheets. 

That's "progress" for you, I guess. But it's obviously also bad business for an airline like Virgin Atlantic. So, with a hand from adam&eveDDB, it's launched #GetOutOfOffice.

The deadpan video is narrated by Judith Chalmers, and created in the same iconic style as "Wish You Were Here…?", a destination-focused TV show for which she was a longtime host. "Now, I've never really thought about coming here," she begins as we pan over a bland, prisonlike office building, "but I can see now why this place is becoming such a popular holiday destination."

Directed by Blink directors The Bobbsey Twins From Homicide, we endure a slow tour of familiar corporate "perks"—microwaveable meals, sub-par vending machines, instant coffee—while Chalmers gushes with comically restrained British ardor. 

"Take a siesta, like the locals! When in Rome," she says lustily as the camera eye closes in on some poor guy drowsing on modular office seating. 

The ad does a nice job of inciting the kind of desperation that makes you want to tear off your necktie and run, reinforcing Virgin Atlantic's recently launched "One Day" campaign, a celebration of fantasy and spontaneity. However you feel about your job, we can probably all agree there's a benefit to clocking out in favor of different experiences, people and thoughts (especially in advertising). 

Expect to see outdoor, press, digital and social campaigns related to #GetOutOfOffice, whose very title is a play on the out-of-office messages we post when we've thrown our cover sheets into the air and zipped out the door. Virgin Atlantic is concurrently also promoting a limited selection of discounted flights to a variety of destinations. 

If you hurry, you might still catch the sun setting over a beach.


Client: Virgin Atlantic

VP of Marketing: Hamish Rickman

Creative Agency: adam&eveDDB

Account Manager: Georgie Carroll

Copywriter: Simon Pearse

Art Director: Emmanuel Saint M Leux

Media Planner: Jessica Treasure

Planner: Martin Beverley

Business Director: Sam Lecoeur

Account Director: Mike Beer

Media Strategy: PHD

Post Production House: The Mill

Directors: The Bobbsey Twins From Homicide

Production Company: Blink

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@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.