• Contiki – Travel with no regrets

    Youth Campaign


The Brief:

Contiki is often considered a “one size fits all” option for gap-year travellers who want to pack in as much as they can and party. Instead of seeing the benefits of a group trip with like minded people, our consumers were focussing on the negative associations of “touring” and opting for self organised trips instead.

We needed to bring Contiki back – fun, bold, optimistic and inclusive – and showcase Europe in a way that highlighted the Contiki difference.

Here’s the thing – when you’re travelling with an amazing group of like-minded people, it’s the bits in between the landmarks that you truly remember. Simply showing a young traveller enjoying Europe would only ever work so hard. We needed a creative vehicle that allowed us to show all the amazing experiences that Contiki offers, without the comms turning into every other travel video.


Enter Manny the Mannequin


This is where ‘Manny the Mannequin’ was born. Manny leaves his boring day job and lives his best life – with a European Contiki. Not only does he take in the best Europe has to offer but he makes lifelong friends and also encounters romance on the journey. Manny reflected all the fears, wants and desires of our core target audience. He didn’t want to be stuck in a dead end job, yearns to travel and of course, fit in.

With an ad-literate audience, any creative that felt like a “sell” would immediately translate as inauthentic, and provide no differentiation. We couldn’t simply show a 20-something having a great time in Europe – we needed a creative vehicle that everyone could get behind, was different enough to stand out, yet still remain relatable. Manny was the creative glue that would inspire the global Contiki team to champion him.



“You get one shot at life, and Manny is here to show us that on Contiki it’s those moments in between the tourist landmarks that shape you – it’s in the people that you meet and those personal experiences that end up creating the best moments and stories of your life!”

– Vanessa Fletcher, Marketing Director, Contiki


“Simply following a young traveller enjoying Europe wouldn’t work. We needed something that allowed us to show all the amazing experiences that Contiki offers, without the comms turning into just another travel video.”

– James Crawley, Creative Director / on-set Puppeteer