Live Virgin Holidays advert opens a world of possibilities

This live stream from 18 prime global travel destinations simultaneously, from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge to the temples of Bangkok, was made possible because of LiveU innovation.

A world of exciting destinations is available to today’s travellers, and Virgin Holidays wanted to show that in a unique way.

The idea: a live advert streamed out from 18 world locations during the television showing of the X-Factor on ITV in the UK and over Facebook Live.

The perfect-fit solution: the “anywhere, anytime” live streaming opportunities offered by LiveU’s portable cellular transmission technology.

The 60-second live advert — Seize the Holiday — was created by agency AMV BBDO who worked with ITN Productions, one of the UK’s largest production companies with both expertise and extensive experience in live programming. In turn, ITN chose to collaborate with LiveU and Garland as it knew of the success of their work with Sky News during the UK General Election in 2015. For that event, election results from 138 locations were streamed live to viewers across the UK and around the world, breaking the world record for simultaneous live streams.

ITN had considered satellite and fibre connectivity to bring the live images back to their facility, the company instead turned to LiveU’s technology as it provided the needed flexibility, reliability and cost considerations needed.

For the Virgin Holiday advert, which ran live on 10 September 2016, a team of about 90 people were involved in filming scenes simultaneously at 18 locations. The idea behind the advertisement was to let potential vacationers who normally travel in the UK or Europe see exciting long-haul travel options. The advert was made up of live shots, including people surfing in Hawaii, visiting Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Florida and snorkelling in Barbados. The footage was edited live at ITN Productions’ Master Control Rooms in central London.

The Garland and LiveU teams were an integral part of the group that worked together to make this unique advertising event possible. They successfully managed the myriad logistical challenges an event of this size can present, and liaised with all the key parties involved. Over two busy weeks in July, they used a LiveU LU200 field unit to check each global location for connectivity.

From this test it was determined that 15 of the locations would use LiveU units. Attached to cameras, the lightweight, easy-to-use units allow for live, mobile video transmission anytime, anywhere. In addition, the unified management system, LiveU Central, was used to enable the ITN control room to manage the multiple incoming video feeds and content simply and effectively from the units operating in different locations.

“We had to work with crews that we knew and some that we never met,” said Steve Gore-Smith, Head of Field Operations at ITN Productions. “Therefore, the technology had to be simple to use and easily managed from the UK. This LiveU Central easily allowed.”

Ronen Artman, VP of Marketing with LiveU, said, “This project was a huge achievement by everyone involved and shows how powerful and flexible our technology is. Thanks to the team at Garland for the special effort that they put into this successful project.”