Ad Nut
Aug 7, 2019

Kayak campaign proves brevity is the soul of wit

The travel site's new campaign through B.B.E. is funny, sharp and effective at 15 seconds, but a 90-second video morphs into something else entirely.

This is fascinating. Watch the ad above, a 15-second spot for travel search engine Kayak by Australian agency B.B.E. Good, right? It's concise and fun, it has a clear point, and it benefits by smoothly referencing the 'Boyfriends of Instagram' meme. Nice work.

Now watch the 90-second video below, billed as a "mockumentary":

Same people. Same basic situation. But somehow the results are completely different. It seems to go on for a long time, and the laughs are surprisingly few in number. It plays less like a lighthearted mockumentary than a documentary of a fraught relationship. Over the 90-second length, the sadness of it all overwhelms any humour. The product benefit gets lost. In fact, when a Kayak-found fare sets up the couple's next trip at the end, Ad Nut actually felt vaguely mad at the brand for its role in perpetuating the couple's relationship.  

Ad Nut has been harping for a while that actors ought to be listed in credits for ad work—because quite often the entire concept wouldn't work without the right performance. B.B.E has included the two leads, Isabel Durant and Ash Williams, in the credits (below), so kudos for that! But ironically, the performances may have been too good. In both cases, the internal dissatisfaction of the characters comes shining through their methinks-they-doth-protest-too-much pronouncements that all is wonderful. It's a bit painful to watch, to be honest. 

More importantly, Ad Nut is kind of mystified about what it accomplishes for the brand. Does the finished product match the brief, or did it simply morph into something else during its creation, as the director and actors couldn't help but make the cartoon characters into real people? Either way it's interesting. But Ad Nut thinks the brand should put most of its budget into spreading the 15-second ad. 


Agency: B.B.E
Strategy: Tim Evans, Edan O’Grady
Creative: Simon Robins
Producer: Geordie McNabney
Designer: Jordan Croome

Influencer/girlfriend: Isabel Durant
Boyfriend: Ash Williams

Regional Director and Head of Flights, APAC: Robin Chiang
Senior Manager, Content Marketing, APAC: Dawn Jeremiah

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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