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that time when...

Our campaign helped to save summer

Barrhead Travel

what we did
  • Campaign concepts
  • Campaign development
  • Multi-channel assets
  • Copywriting
  • TV production
  • Radio production
  • Social media concepts

Barrhead Travel is a Glasgow institution founded in 1975. This multi-faceted business has grown from one small shop to become one of the UK’s biggest retail firms with over 80 branches and 700 employees. The brand has been driven by a strong sales strategy with the company being extremely tactical in the marketplace.

Barrhead Travel SOS OOH 48 Sheet

A first for Barrhead Travel

There were a lot of firsts on this project: this was Barrhead Travel’s first time working with an agency in 10 years and as a result, our first time partnering with them. It was also Barrhead Travel’s first campaign after the pandemic, so there was uncertainty as to how the market would react. It was a new era for travel – no-one had any certainty about what lay in store. Never ones to shy away from a challenge, we rolled up our sleeves, got our thinking caps on – and retired the list of cliches we just used to write this sentence.

Barrhead Travel SOS OOH 6 Sheet

The height of ambition

For a variety of reasons, lots of people book their holidays late. Sometimes even last minute. Barrhead Travel wanted a late springtime campaign targeting these potential customers who had yet to sort out their summer. The last-minute nature of booking habits meant it was important to create a sense of urgency first and foremost. There was also the added aim that this new campaign should elevate the brand’s overall appearance, creating something that was attractive to new and old customers alike.

Saving holidays

There were three key selling points in the product offering: Barrhead Travel could get holidays for their customers at the best price. They were fast when it came to finding exactly what their customers were looking for. And they were able to banish the stress and hassle of trying to book a last-minute holiday. We were quick to spot the common theme: savings. Customers would be able to save money, save time, and save themselves from the stress and hassle of finding the perfect holiday. We wrapped this up in the campaign headline Save on Summer, abbreviating it to SOS as a neat way of further upping the urgency at this time of year.

One to remember

It’s all about standout for Barrhead Travel. Bright, bold, and vibrant describe their look and their personality, so we created a visual device that ticked those boxes, adding humour to the campaign, too. By replacing the O in SOS with fun objects associated with summer holidays, we linked holidays and urgency in an eye-catching and memorable way. We carved out a strong position for the brand in the Lates campaign space, helping reaffirm Barrhead Travel as the place to go for all those who hadn’t yet booked their summer holidays. The campaign addressed the needs of customers and reinforced the reassuring benefits of using a travel agent. Our tactical campaign was delivered across multiple channels including radio, press, digital, large-format billboard sites, bus rears, social, email and point of sale in stores.

Barrhead Travel SOS A Frame

Thinking that works

We didn’t just help Barrhead Travel meet their targets; we completely surpassed them. No mean feat considering how unpredictable the market was at the time. Our colourful campaign more than doubled enquiries and delivered a 131% upsurge in website traffic. We also attracted new customers who increased bookings considerably during the dates our campaign was live.

Our OOH campaign hit Barrhead Travel’s key goals – of immediacy, delivering a campaign with serious impact, and driving urgency to book this year’s holiday before customers missed out. This project marked the beginning of an ongoing partnership with the brilliant team at Barrhead Travel, who we love working with on key campaigns.


upsurge in website traffic

Barrhead Travel SOS Newspaper
Barrhead Travel SOS Magazine

Forward wind to 2023

Our Save on Summer campaign was so successful Barrhead Travel decided to re-use it the following year, and asked us to create a TV ad using the same theme to target last-minute bookings. We needed to pivot the concept to work in this channel – and moved towards the idea that even though you’ve left it to the last minute, Barrhead Travel could rescue your summer. We decided on a very bold and simple advert.

In line with what we’d done previously with their Massive Holiday Sale TV ad, we decided to continue with classical music for standout and a consistent theme – and sourced a track which perfectly paired with the animation of the campaign headline. We used painstakingly-selected stock footage – bright, colourful and high-energy – that captured the joy we all feel on holiday when we let our hair down and have fun. And we wrapped the whole thing up with our SOS campaign lock-up, animating through a selection of holiday-related objects – so that the key point about the breadth and range that Barrhead Travel offer is baked in to every element of the advert.


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10 Montrose Street
Glasgow G1 1RE

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