The vacation blues

RiskIt’s early February. Do you parcel a few days from your meager vacation allowance and jet off for a long weekend in the Bahamas? Or do you retreat to you cubicle and wait for spring? A dilemma. Which is why an under-the-radar TV campaign (if there is such a thing) has tapped into the white-sneaker-wearing tourist inside us.

In the debut spot, a slick CEO type thanks us for “ciphoning valuable time away from loved ones and trading weekends for work ends … even as your overall quality of life takes a nosedive.” A pseudo-patriotic melody plays as he continues: “Thanks to your hard work and dedication, 26 percent of Americans don’t take any vacation time at all.” A plug at the end directs us to But it’s no revolutionary site advocating four weeks of vacation a year; it’s an elaborate ad for Universal Orlando Resorts, sponsor of faux lobbying group “Vacation Advocacy.” Included on the site: data about how many vacation days Americans take each year on average (13) compared with those master relaxers, the Italians (42); a “Bash the Boss” computer game; and a “Vacation Deficiency Test.”

Maybe if we did have four weeks of vacation, we’d consider spending it at a packed, overpriced theme park. With just two weeks, we’d rather lounge on the beaches of Martinique or go see Istanbul. The ads, by davidandgoliath, do tap into the psyche of the overworked American. But if you weren’t already considering a theme-park vacation, we wonder if this would change your mind.

—Posted by Deanna Zammit