Club 18-30 switches to grown-up approach

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[London] U.K. holiday company Club 18-30 has swapped smut for sophistication in an attempt to throw off its notorious sun and sex image. The company that won the print Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in 2002 with controversial outdoor ads showing young people at the beach in what appeared to be sexual positions is now trying to persuade consumers that the brand is all about exclusivity and cool.

The change in approach is a reaction to U.K. press exposure of sordid goings on at group holidays in the Mediterranean. Dave Henderson, a creative executive at Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi London, said, "We couldn't sell on sex any more-we had to grow up and move on. As we can't do the `18-30' bit, we did the `club' bit instead." The integrated campaign is based on the idea of "be on the list," and is designed to drive people to the site Visitors mingle with online characters and can get on the list by answering correctly three "What is hot" questions, like choosing between the Balearic Islands (hot) and the Channel Islands (not). Once on the list, visitors are later invited to parties and events. Ads will feature screw-ups who aren't on the list. In the first cinema spot, a man jumps from a hotel ledge. Detective Jack Hammer, who failed to talk the jumper down, is not on the list-not the sort of cool, resourceful person found at a Club 18-30 event. In the campaign's first two weeks, sales are up 30% year-on-year, according to Mr. Henderson.

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