O2 launches Roam Freely Lounge at Gatwick Airport

VCCP is behind new activation to eliminate stressful travel this summer

By Creative Salon

O2 launches the latest chapter in its ‘Roam Freely’ campaign with a limited-edition airport lounge space in a media first for a telecommunications brand. The ‘O2 Roam Freely Lounge’ is located in Gatwick North Terminal and will offer O2 customers, their friends and family a haven to relax in before jet setting off on holiday, ensuring that the holiday magic starts right at the airport.

The activation forms part of O2’s summer brand platform ‘Roam Freely’ which last month saw Bubl jetset across Europe in a pair of clogs and O2’s headline sponsorship of ITV’s Love Island, and seeks to remind people that O2 is the only major network to maintain inclusive roaming while in the EU, using data, calls and texts just as they would in the UK.

Devised by UK agency of record VCCP London, and global content studio Girl&Bear, the ‘O2 Roam Freely Lounge’ is an extension of the Roam Freely promise, and echoes the sentiment of the nation as consumers embrace travel abroad this summer. Havas Media UK together with Grand Visual and Blackjack, secured the 4400 square feet of space which sees O2 take over an exciting lounge in one of the UK’s busiest airports, and is the first time such a deal has been reached in the UK and for a telco brand. The O2 ‘Roam Freely Lounge’ will act as a haven for those looking to relax before boarding, or as a quiet getaway for those still working ahead of take-off.

Building on the O2 ‘Roam Freely’ promise of cost-free, hassle-free travel, the lounge will allow guests to kickstart the holiday excitement by offering holiday-makers the first drink of their holiday, snap-worthy scenery and travel-themed decor to hint at all the adventures ahead. Parents travelling with children will be able to use the Disney+ room which includes movies for everyone to enjoy and turn any delays into a world of entertainment. For those who want to keep streaming beyond the lounge, O2 also offers new and upgrading customers six months of Disney+ on O2. Comfortable seating to relax, free WiFi, and device charging points, as well as special holiday deals such as Duolingo and hire car discounts via Priority will also be available.

To gain entry, O2 Priority members can download a valid QR code available through Priority which will then be validated at the ‘Welcome Desk’ in the Lounge. The lounge is open from today until 30th September, with access available to O2 customers and any friends and family they are travelling with. Lounge guests will also be able to get a pre-loaded O2 SIM card so they can also benefit from free EU roaming while they’re away, even if they are on a different network.

To drive awareness of the lounge, a campaign targeting O2 Priority members will run and will include push notifications geo-targeting customers nearby Gatwick Airport’s North terminal as well as utilising O2 owned ecosystem to drive awareness, engagement and excitement of the lounge through social channels.

For those not travelling from Gatwick North Terminal or worried about their outbound flight being delayed, O2 is offering free lounge access for Priority members and up to three travel companions at airports globally with SmartDelay, providing a place to relax if their flight is delayed by 60 minutes or more.

Simon Groves, Director of Brand and Marketing at Virgin Media O2 said: “The summer holidays are in full swing and it’s exciting to see so many people travelling again, however I know I’m not alone in worrying about the stress of busy airports. That’s why we’re so thrilled to welcome O2 customers to our special lounge at Gatwick airport to offer them a relaxing haven, complete with everything needed to get that holiday feeling before take-off. At O2 we’re truly committed to taking the hassle out of holidaying. It starts with our preflight Oasis at Gatwick, and continues with inclusive EU roaming. After two Covid disrupted years for travel, we’re delighted to be able to give our customers that extra benefit to make their holidays even more special.”

Daryn Lawrence, Creative Director at VCCP London added: “Love holidays, but loath airport travel? Yeah me too. Instead of airports being a place to begrudge we thought we’d flip the script and allow O2 customers to embrace the magic of travel right at the start with a relaxing lounge, equipped with everything needed to kickstart that holiday feeling. O2 is all about cost-free, hassle free travel and our Lounge is the perfect extension of the Roam Freely promise.”

In addition to the O2 Roam Freely Lounge and SmartDelay perk, O2 has partnered with Holiday Extras to offer Virgin Media and O2 customers three months of hassle-free holiday savings via Priority, including discounts of up to 35% off airport parking and 15% off car hire, travel insurance, airport transfers and airport hotels so Priority members can pocket some savings ahead of their holiday.

To access these rewards, those on O2 can register using their mobile number. For Virgin Media cable customers they can download the Priority app via their relevant app store and register using the email address that is linked to their My Virgin Media account.

Joanna Mikolajczyk, client partner, Havas Media UK, said: “We know that creating relevant and innovative media experiences makes brands stand out above the rest, and what could be better to ease airport stress than the ultimate airline lounge for O2 Priority Customers, their friends and family. This media-first is a brilliant way to sign off on the Roam Freely campaign that’s seen O2 feature prominently in travel relevant contexts, including enjoying one of the most comprehensive partnerships ever brokered with Love Island.”

Creative credits:

Client: Virgin Media O2

Advertising agency: VCCP

Creative director: Daryn Lawrence

Creative: Ana Marques & Tomas Lima

Creative: Ed Tuddenham & Martin Lindley

Artwork: James Perry &Liam Leal

Senior account director: Charlotte Powell

Account manager: Nellie Day

Planning director: Hannah Martin

Planner: Alex Orton

Girl&Bear producer: Rose Nott

Media agency: Havas Media UK

Production company: BlackJack


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