Phoenix wins First Choice January brief

First Choice has handed its biggest ad campaign of the year to a company called Phoenix, rather than roster agency Walsh Trott Chick Smith. According to Nielsen Media Research, First Choice spent &£1.5m on advertising last January – the key booking period for tour operators. First Choice is spinning the animated characters created for its sponsorship of ITV’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! into its January television advertising.

Phoenix created the sponsorship idents, featuring a menagerie of animals including an elephant, love birds and frogs. The agency has now been commissioned for the full campaign, which will see the characters interact with live action sequences. This was the second series of I’m a Celebrity… to be sponsored by First Choice. The contest was won by Joe Pasquale on Monday.

Group marketing director Phil Barden says the programme is the right vehicle for First Choice at a time when people are beginning to think about next year’s holidays. He adds that Walsh Trott Chick Smith remains the company’s lead agency.

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