Provocative shock value ads in travel are rare, especially since you are essentially selling happiness, or at least the promise of it. So when a prominent travel agency in India comes out blazing with a print ad campaign against group travel — they’re selling their uniqueness: individual customized travel plans — it certainly makes you stop. The six ads in the series, below, have the same one line: group travel is stupid, you will end up doing stupid group activity things, so go with us, and we’ll create individual plans for you.

We at Skift are all for deeper travel beyond group tours, and individuals driving travel planning than agents booking for a group. But a few contradictions stand out about this ad series, done by JWT India:

  • Chariot is a local travel agency in India that offers local Indian package tours. It says as much on its site. It also has listings of suggested tour itineraries on site, much like all travel agent sites do, so not sure how that would count as individualized.
  • These images below are mostly cliched “white-trash stupid-American” images from U.S., why would it matter to group or individualized local travel in India? Caveat here: the aim of this campaign is clearly foreign travelers, not local Indians.
  • If you want to show examples of stupid group travel, show what stupid things foreign travelers in India do in group travel. There’s plenty of raw material to pick on there.
  • Lastly, if this is what Chariot or JWT India thinks what stupid group travel would entail in U.S., they clearly have never been anywhere near the safe Disney-fied environs of group travel. “Stupid” activities like below would actually be the domain of “edgy” solo travel, the exact opposite of what they intend to say.

So there you go, nitpicking done, the campaign in full below.

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blood_sport_aotw

child_pageant_aotw

football_riot_aotw

gun_ladies_aotw

klu_klux_klan_aotw

Advertising Agency: JWT, Gurgaon, India
Chief Creative Officer: Bobby Pawar
Executive Creative Director: Priti Kapur
Copywriters: Sayantan Choudhury, Sumeer Mathur
Art Director: Sumonto Ghosh