Orbitz gets its jazz hands on for a musical number featuring central casting of foreign people, Randy Rainbow and Margaret Cho, drag queen flight attendants Bianca Del Rio and Miss Richfield 1981, and a tap dancing girl. Sorry, I have to confess I had no idea who Randy Rainbow was until I googled him. Anyway, the lyrics are silly and even manage to get a dig at Trump's America as one of the reasons to leave. "Just book a flight, choose your hotel if you think the country's gone to hell." Because god forbid we go back to our lives without any commentary for one second.
This long form version of this ad, seen here, will debut via social channels and in theatrical release via LGBTQ film festivals. The :60 version will debut on LOGO and VH-1 during RuPaul’s Drag Race. There will also be a pre-roll cut down. As for the ad itself, after a clunky opening it actually becomes a catchy song. The tap dancing sequence where the camera pans to Randy and he breaks the fourth wall and stops singing and has to tell us he doesn't know how to tap dance is quite charming.
The minute the airport announcer comes up and we cut to a shot of a garish, too-bright Orbitz app, so we can learn about Orbit rewards, it pretty much pumps the breaks on everything and the momentum comes to a screeching halt/ It's as if during the number an account director realized everyone was having too much fun so they yell "Cuuuuuuuut!" And then they grab a megaphone, stand up on an apple box (the same one the little girl was tap dancing on just moments before) and start reading from the brief. To Orbitz's credit, they kind of know this part is lame. So they throw in a random half naked guy doing backflips as a way to divert everyone's attention, including Randy Rainbow. Because nothing erases a really hard sell retail message like some good old-fashioned body objectification. The spot ends on everyone in the room lusting after random dude and Randy actually leaving his place in the chorus line to go chasing after him to ask if he knows about Orbitz rewards. Sure, that's what he wants to tell him about. *wink*
I suppose it will be quite effective, form a media buy standpoint. And I think a sixty second version would probably make this a stronger ad as it really does take a few seconds ot get off the ground, so to speak. But all musical numbers live or die on their strength of actors and subject matter. And I'm reminded of a motto in advertising: "If you don't have anything to say, sing." And while this ad is visually engaging and funny in some parts, it doesn't do much more than tell me it's fun to travel and I'm pretty sure I already know that.
Brand Marketing: Jeff Marsh
Advertainment & Branded Content Studio: BARK BARK
Development & Production Partner: Hazy Mills Productions
Executive Producers: Todd Milliner (Hazy Mills), Brian Tolleson & David Brand (BARK BARK)
Director: Nick Peet (Hazy Mills)
Producers: Jeff Melnick, Mark Nasser
DP: John Frost
Production Designer: Adrina Garibian
Stylist: Tiffani Rae
Choreographer: Bonnie McMahan
Editor: Mark Nasser
Original Score: Ron Wasserman