If you set your GPS to 153 Main St, Kilwinning KA13 6EE, in the United Kingdom, you’ll eventually arrive at Thorne Travel. They describe themselves as:

Thorne Travel is an independent travel agency whose customers benefit from over 40 years experience in providing luxury travel and events. Our well travelled consultants are dedicated to optimising out customer’s holiday experiences whilst ensuring exceptional value for money.

They’re a team of 9 agents, who will do their best to satisfy your travel needs. From holidays, to stag nights, to weddings and day trips. They’re almost just another Travel Agent, except they have recently become fairly well known for having the best worst travel advert of all time 🙂

You can watch it below for yourself. Be sure to pay careful attention to the over-sized suit on the Ship’s Captain, and the stunt-person doing the summersault (they’re my personal faves). The story goes that they spent their entire year’s marketing budget on this one advert.

Sometimes Luck Can Turn Bad Into Really Good

I’m 100% sure we (at Calidascope) would ever be able to create something this bad on purpose? I also know that we’d never ever recommend that any of our clients put their brand on an advert like this. And yet, this advert has rocketed the 9 agents at Thorne Travel to stardom (of sorts) in many parts of the world. Their ad shot to over a million views on YouTube in no time (sadly it seems they’ve removed the video from their profile – I’m sad about that). According to the Independent in the UK, bookings at Thorne have increased by over 110%. Manager, Shona Thorne, has had to cancel her annual leave to meet the sudden demand, and she’s appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain and The Robin Galloway Breakfast Show in Scotland.

Call it what you will, the advert has been a massive success for their business. It’s done what they wanted it to do, and then some. There’s not enough money to purposefully replicate the exposure Thorne just got.

It’s luck. It’s all luck. As a team we’ve even spent some time trying to figure out what the ‘lucky’ elements might have been (if you can work those out, perhaps you can replicate their success)? And while we have some thoughts, there’s no denying that good old fashioned luck was the overwhelming factor of their success.

There are 1000’s of really bad adverts uploaded onto YouTube everyday, but there was only one on this particular day, that luck decided to shine down on 🙂