Finding humour in the stereotypes of its customer base, Saga Holidays has made an advert that also challenges assumptions of over 50s travel. Rose Dykins reports

Saga Holidays has debuted a light-hearted advert to support the launch of its new Tailor-Made Travel by Saga product.

Highlighting the difference between perceptions and the reality of how people aged 50-plus like to travel, the advert, called “You’re Not Wrong” stars actor Nicholas Farrell (who also appeared in Saga’s “Experience is Everything” campaign.

While assumptions may suggest that older people like sedate trips, Saga’s advert follows Farrell through a range of adventurous experiences, gently poking fun at perceptions of over 50s travellers, while simultaneously challenging ageist stereotypes, too.

For example, Farrell begins, knelt respectfully in a Japanese tea ceremony: “Saga Holidays. What springs to mind? Experience tells me you probably think we’re constantly stopping for tea.” As he is handed a tea bowl, which he carefully cups, he says: “It’s not entirely unfair”.

It goes on: “You think we like just pootling along” as the camera follows him in a fast-moving dune buggy over the sands of Dubai before cutting to Nicholas enjoying a massage in Bali: “You probably think we love regular afternoon lie downs”.

Next the camera is close-up to Farrell as he says: “We’re often found in slow moving groups” and as the shot pans out to show he’s sat in a jeep watching a herd of giraffe in Africa: “Well, you’re not wrong”.

Then the viewer joins a South American festival full of music and dancing and a local man holding a large flag. Nicholas follows him, saying: “And more than anything, we love to follow someone holding a flag”. 

Finally, as he enjoys a glass of wine in a South African vineyard Farrell, with a lifted eyebrow, comments: “Yes, a holiday with Saga is everything you probably thought it was. And a little bit more.”

Stuart Beamish, group chief customer officer for Saga Holidays, says: “As Saga continues to operate as a champion for people over 50, we are taking this opportunity to bust open the myths associated with our audience.

“Our aim as a brand and through this advert is to challenge perceptions and to reflect our customers as the experienced individuals they are.”

John Constable, CEO of Saga Travel Group, says: “We know there are many incorrect preconceptions about what a Saga holiday is and the people who take them, so we’re setting the record straight.”

“Our customers tell us they want exciting experiences in fascinating destinations. They love adventure, culture, wildlife and beauty, which our new ‘Tailor-Made Travel by Saga’ holidays deliver in spades. We wanted to create a witty juxtaposition between assumption and reality to make that point and we think this new advert with the superb Nicholas Farrell does that brilliantly.”

The 60-second television advert was directed by British comedy and performance director Tony Barry. There are also 30-second edits of the advert for TV and ten-second edits for social media and digital.

Jim Thornton, executive creative director at VCCP, the agency who created the campaign, says: “The gap between the perception of a Saga holiday and the reality is as wide as the Grand Canyon – which, of course, you can visit as part of a Saga Tailor Made Holiday.”