Virgin Holidays 'Holiday Hypnosis' Promises A Two-Week Vacation in 20 Minutes

Wanna get away for two weeks but can't? Virgin Holidays treats consumers to a mind trip.


As consumers return to work after the holidays, thoughts immediately turn to the next vacation. While the actual trip may be months away for most people, it's never to early to start planning and booking., Virgin Holidays says their website traffic increased 32 percent on the first day of work after Christmas as Brits go in search of a getaway – peaking around 12:43 p.m. This year the travel brand has teamed with a celebrity hypnotist to make shoppers feel like they experienced a two-week holiday in just 20 minutes.

It can be hard to head back to work after a holiday break or vacation. One UK brand, Virgin Holidays, tried to ease the transition back to the working world this week.

Virgin Holidays teamed up with British hypnotist and author Paul McKenna, promising that consumers who took part in a 20-minute session in one of their “hypno-pods” would feel like they’re refreshed and revitalized as if after a two-week holiday. The sessions, which involved mediation and hypnotism techniques, took place at at Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent.

McKenna said the Holiday Hypnosis service was intended to simulate the feeling you get when the brain releases endorphins, the natural feel-good hormones often associated with a holiday.

No doubt, Virgin is hoping the next time people search on Google for “cheap exotic holidays” that they’ll remember their experience with the brand and buy from them.

Journalists from the Irish Examiner, Mirror, and Telepgraph tried it out and shared their experiences. While the hypnosis clearly wasn’t a substitute for two weeks in a tropical paradise, they did all report emerging a bit more relaxed than when they started.

“This experience could not come at a better time for the great British public,” said Mark Anderson, managing director at Virgin Holidays. “Nothing beats the feeling of an amazing holiday, and we think they have the right to flaunt it even in the dark depths of January before they get the real thing later in the year.”

Holiday Hypnosis is part of the brand’s new integrated #FlauntIt marketing campaign, designed to make consumers aware of its all-important January sales.

Aside from hypnotizing customers, the brand introduced Google Cardboard virtual reality technology in its retail stores last month to let customers “test drive” their holidays before purchasing.

Virgin will also introduce a “Try on a Holiday” booth that will travel to London, Manchester, and Birmingham and let customers virtually experience Cancun, Barbados, and Walt Disney World (similar to Marriott Hotel’s virtual reality 4D experience in the U.S.).

What do you think of Virgin Holiday's hypnosis effort and overall Flaunt It marketing campaign?