Luxury Escapes Announces Winner Of $50,000 Grand Prize In Advertising Contest

Luxury Escapes Announces Winner Of $50,000 Grand Prize In Advertising Contest

Travel company, Luxury Escapes, today awarded $50,000 to Perth-based independent film-maker, Jonathon Shaw, for creating the winning homemade Luxury Escapes commercial in the company’s Make Our Ad contest.

Chelsea Healey
Posted by Chelsea Healey

Shaw’s commercial, titled ‘InstaTraveller’, edged out four other finalists to take home the grand prize, winning $50,000 in cash and the opportunity to have his Luxury Escapes ad feature across Australian television networks in 2017.

Thirty-year-old Shaw, teamed up with good friend, and fellow film-maker, James Gordon, to produce the commercial and turned to a mate from the local footy club, Dustin ‘Dusty’ Allen, to act as the star of the ad, the ‘InstaTraveller’.

‘InstaTraveller’ features Dusty as a character who appears a worldly individual, but hasn’t actually ever experienced any real travel. Instead, the ‘InstaTraveller’ spends his time staging social media posts and interacts with the world through likes, shares and hashtags.

“The inspiration for the ad came largely from the social media. It seems so many people travel just for that cliched ‘selfie’,  instead of actually enjoying the magic of the destination,” Shaw said.

“We were trying to capture the essence of how some people now travel, with their experience ’s  now largely derived from their social media experience – the lines between the two are becoming more and more blurred. Our ad is about the person that lives in this blur, he takes social media documented travel to a whole new level.”

According to Shaw, the commercial was produced on a budget of well under $100 with the props and costumes that feature in it left over from a recent dress-up party.

Luxury Escapes’ Make Our Ad contest invited budding film-makers from all over the globe to submit short videos that could be turned into a TV commercial based on the theme ‘the world’s best holidays’. Flying guinea pigs, holiday inspectors, Ned Kelly, vacation fantasies, child escape artists, puppy romances and suburban day-dreaming were among the 39 videos submitted for the contest.

The public was then asked to vote for their favourite ad to determine a shortlist of five finalists followed by a formal and expert judging process. The panel included Konrad Spilva, CEO, Isobar Group Australia & New Zealand, Rob Belgiovane, executive creative director, Belgiovane Williams Mackay and Blake Hutchison, general manager, Luxury Escapes.

Hutchison said, “As a judging panel we were looking for something that would create impact, position Luxury Escapes in a charismatic light and obviously something with strong creative execution.

“The InstaTraveller ad is an ad that intrigues, is humorous and ultimately asserts that Luxury Escapes is the right way to travel. We thought it was very clever.

“As a young company built on the support and engagement of our members we anticipated a good response to the contest, but never expected the volume, diversity and creativity that we ended up receiving.

“There were 39 entrants and many were fantastic. Overall we think crowdsourcing an ad is a really effective way to engage an audience and see how customers interpret your brand. We really did learn a lot.”

Contest judge, and Isobar Group Australia & New Zealand CEO, Konrad Spilva, said all five finalists had the judges talking, but that ‘InstaTraveller’ was the clear winner.

“The entries were great.  With such an open brief it was fun to pick our way through the amusing, aspirational and informative entries,” he said.

“Ultimately we thought InstaTraveller was the winning concept – a really nice creative idea, written and executed well. It’s also ultimately a bit of fun, aimed to get some cut through in a pretty competitive industry.” 

Shaw added, “After proposing and rejecting about 10 concepts we settled on the ‘InstaTraveller’. A guy who appears like a worldly individual, but hasn’t actually every experienced any real travel. And we began to write content for it. We liked the social media aspect, and potential sharable nature of the idea.

“We actually shot most of the advert in my 3 x 3 metre bedroom as it was the only room in the house that had carpet and dampened the echo! We were all crammed on top of each other in the room trying not to set anything on fire with the lights.

After recording, James and I then headed off to do the edit; after about 10 hours and lots of coffee we submitted the ‘InstaTraveller’ in the early hours of the morning on Christmas Eve.”