Your Next Holiday Shouldn't Be Truman Show Hell, Says This Creepy-Cool Ad

Cossette gets Orwellian for Flight Centre Canada

Predictable. Uninspired. Unnerving. Creepy. Dystopian. Soul-crushing. Vile.

Such descriptions aren't usually associated with vacation travel. Yet all apply to the extremely entertaining 90-second spot below, from Flight Centre Canada and Cossette, which presents a young couple on an achingly awful Orwellian get-away: 

War is peace. So, fun is … tedium?

Director Joachim Back, who won an Oscar nine years ago for his satirical short The New Tenants, really milks the 1984/Truman Show vibe here. You'll note the inane repetition of the phrase "Please, stay within your comfort zone" (how can you miss it?), a consistently somber color palette, and dozens of mindless professional smiles plastered across the faces of airport greeters, bus drivers and resort staff.

The point, of course, is that Flight Centre offers an uplifting alternative, working with its customers to create itineraries tailored to their specific passions and personalities. 

"We've found that the mentality of travelers is changing—people are seeking more unique and authentic experiences instead of the traditional bucket list, but are reluctant to trust booking to anyone but themselves," says Flight Centre vp of leisure Gavin Miller. "We understand that holidays are the most important weeks of the year, and our Flighties bring vast personal experience which is sorely lacking in a market dominated by algorithms and self-serve booking."

Tagged "Be Unbordered," the work presents a humorous/chilling cinematic take on the notion of travel as a life-enhancing experience by depicting a journey that's anything but. (China Airlines' viral spot from the summer and this Hotels.com campaign explored similar territory in different ways.)

On billboards, Flight Centre's name shines as a beacon of hope amid monochrome text: 

Also, bus-wraps reminds folks to avoid taking trips that ultimately lead nowhere: 

Including Tiny Tim's apocalyptically annoying rendition of "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" in the centerpiece spot was Jedi genius. It's mixed rather low, like a strange, almost-subliminal message ... but the singer's off-key wailing breaks through at random points to gnaw at your nerves.

Hey, Big Brother, we'll take the rats! Just turn that caterwauling off already!

CREDITS

Flight Centre
EVP, Retail Divison - Gavin Miller
Head of Marketing - Aaron Stubbings
Brand Leader - Michelle Suggett
Content & Creative Director - Karina Gill

Creative
Global Chief Creative Officer - Peter Ignazi 
Associate Creative Directors - Spencer Dingle & Jordan Hamer

Accounts
SVP, Client Service Director - Janis Lindenbergs
VP, Business Lead - Anabella Mandel
Account Director - Dianne Kim
Senior Producer - Erica Metcalfe

Strategy
SVP, Strategy – Rosie Gentile
Director of Strategy - Geoff Gingerich
Strategist - Michael Szego

Design
Group Creative Director, Head of Design - Luis Coderque

Production
Partners Film

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.