Santa gets off the Pole – Chills at Virgin Hotels in new JOAN campaign

(Santa’s got somewhere other than the north pole)

Forget the Pole. Virgin Hotels’ boozy, gossipy Santa is back again this year, and this time he has been thinking back on 1,700 years of tradition and asking: why not switch it up? He’s found the perfect spot to ride out Christmas…Virgin Hotels.

Building on the wildly successful 2020 holiday campaign from Virgin Hotels and our friends at JOAN Creative, this humorous new campaign reimagines Santa as a luxe-loving, debonair gentleman enjoying the amenities of the hotel while telling the world: “This year, you come to me.”

In a series of :15 spots, a well-dressed Santa sips champagne at the hotel bar and orders lobster, while a piano plays in the background; “I was literally on my way, and then I was like, ‘it’s cold…why would I leave this place?’” he says. 

In another, he lounges in a Virgin Hotels Chamber and their comfy bed in his red-and-white pajamas, while being served a drink and thinking “I just feel younger here!” The ad flashes the tagline: “Put a Twist on Tradition.”

And, while Santa might not be making house calls this year, he still comes bearing a gift — 25% off for travelers who book with Virgin Hotels before January 3. Watch the fun below:

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“We’re all trying to figure out our new holiday traditions and who better to get advice from than Virgin Santa?,” said Lauren Costa, Executive Creative Director at JOAN Creative. “I want to do what he’s doing.”

“We are happy to have our cheeky Santa back for a second year. Our alternative version of Santa is a great way to have fun with the season while standing out from all the other Christmas ads,” said Doug Carrillo, CMO of Virgin Hotels. “Virgin Hotels is all about giving the customer everything they want before they even need to ask for it. JOAN Creative came up with a smart and funny way to convey that message: Even Santa doesn’t want to leave.”


CLIENT: Virgin Hotels

  • Chief Marketing Officer: Doug Carrillo


  • CEO: Lisa Clunie
  • Chief Creative Officer: Jaime Robinson
  • Executive Creative Director: Lauren Costa
  • Managing Director: Sarah Collinson
  • Director of Creative Services: Becca Patrick
  • Head of Strategy: Chris Turney
  • Creative Director: Karla Mileski
  • Copywriter: Matthew Eckrich
  • Junior Art Director: Katie Gough
  • Account Director: Mandy Boddy
  • Senior Producer: Nicole Severi
  • Strategist: Ciara Gaffney
  • Designer: Kirk Damer
  • Creative Manager: Alexander Payson


  • Managing Director: Cheri Anderson
  • Director: Blaise Cepis
  • Director of Photography: Dan Dealy
  • Line Producer: Katherine Prato
  • Editor: Oliver Rivard
  • Color: Carlos Flores
  • Mix: Ken Meyer