Feeling Thorney


Last week Thorne Travel released a video promoting their travel agency.  I’ve seen comments that its ‘cringe’ and I am sure there are detractors.  However, I think it’s brilliant and its brilliant for a number of reasons.

Thorne have been brave, releasing something intended for consumption and knowing they will be judged on its content.  Yet, clearly, they know their brand, what they stand for and their purpose and they want to shout about it.  The video they released, whilst it might not win an oscar (no offence!)  really captures the brand and can only do good from that point of view.  Indeed, it is reported they’re seeing a tremendous surge in bookings.  As of writing they’ve had almost 700k views on You Tube.

By anyones standard, 700k is huge.  Hats off.  Everyone clap.  Magnificent.  Even if 0.01% of those viewers go on to make a booking thats and extra 70 bookings.  Say thats at £100 commission per booking, thats £7,000 commission.  But, lets say 0.02% make a booking, thats £14,000 commission.  More than enough (I assume) to pay for the video (admittedly, my numbers are best guess but you get the point).  Some large OTA’s and Tour Operators can only dream of such success.  It proves you don’t need huge productions nor cash to gain traction, just a great vision.

Thorne have demonstrated the value of video to connect with potential customers.  The production is not contrived in any way, the team are fully honest and being themselves.  I think viewers can see that.  Thats what I see.  I think viewers appreciate that.  Social Media (I include You Tube here) is absolutely binary in that viewers choose what is good and what isn’t good.  If it’s good content, you’ll get found, if its liked, you’ll have huge numbers of views and maybe shared.  If it’s bad, no one will care and viewers will be low (much like the reader numbers of this blog come to think of it!!).


Alpharooms recently used Wooshii to produce a video (Wooshii is one of my favourite sites at the moment, a brilliant idea).  Wooshii allows videos to made easily and within any given budget.  Alpharooms have had some success with the video which gained over 200k viewers yet, they have produced a lot of videos over the years and only this one has gained material traction.  Why?

Why is difficult to answer.  Why does someone watch (and maybe share) and someone doesn’t?  The obvious answer is the video is watched if it is attractive, fun or useful to the viewer but they are subjective concepts.  In other words, the content has to be good.    But ti think its’ more than that,  If viewers believe the video is contrived in any way (and by that I mean manufactured and almost ‘trying to hard’) viewers will be turned off.  Viewers appreciate and can identify with honesty.  I think ultimately, we come back to trust and brand.

With Moores Law showing no signs of stopping, I believe video is going to become more and more important because it becomes easier and easier to share and to view (just look at Vine, causing football TV licensing some problems!).  As a result, only the cream will rise to the top.  For anyone producing video, especially a business, this is a daunting prospect.  Get it wrong and viewers may share the video for all the wrong reasons.  Is there such things as bad PR one might ask?  Yes.  Most definitely yes.  Just on word is needed to highlight this point:  Ratners.  So, on the one hand a video has to be honest and made with love, putting what you stand for out there to gain real traction for a brand.  Yet, get this wrong and the brand may be damaged, a cardinal sin which could destroy your business in a worst case scenario.  Quite a balance to strike.

Check this out, at the time of writing this video has attracted 200k views, I predict it will end up as a great deal more as its now all over social media, I am just posting it because I like it….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTWjCCSUkSk  (thanks to JM and KM for putting this in front of me via Twitter).

I am definitely interested in video for my new project, Travel as a broad concept has so much potential for imagery and video, it staggers me why no major player int he industry has taken the bull by horns over this.  Maybe because on paper, it won’t drive cash, but I think it can if you’re increasing your brand presence.  Anyway, maybe thats for me to think about.


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