First Choice ad to feature live marriage proposal during Coronation Street break

A woman will propose to her boyfriend during a Coronation Street ad break tonight, in a leap year-inspired spot for First Choice.

First Choice, the travel agent, is hosting the live marriage proposal on ITV1 during an episode of Coronation Street, which begins at 8:30pm.

The live ad will show a woman taking her partner on stage and then proposing to him in a nod to the tradition that on 29 February women can propose to men, contrary to the usual custom.

The live ad break will be fronted by TV presenter Laura Whitmore and will be introduced by a 10-second "proud to present" bumper from ITV.

The concept for the ad was created in-house by First Choice’s marketing team and developed by ITN Productions. Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R has been the brand's retained creative agency since winning parent group TUI's business last year, but was not invovled in this campaign.

MediaCom brokered the media planning and buying deal between ITV and First Choice. Teasers for the live ad have been running on social media and in double page spreads in Metro and Evening Standard newspapers.

First Choice said the campaign targets the brand’s core audiences: 24- to 45-year-olds and couples.

After a series of auditions, in addition to the live couple, two other women are having their leap year proposals publicised through First Choice. Shorter 15- and 30 second films of their proposals and back stories, as well as montage film of the three couples, will be shared on the First Choice website.

Jeremy Ellis, the marketing director at Thomson and First Choice, said: "This is a really exciting activation for us, and it’s totally different to anything we’ve done before.

"For us, in today’s environment, it’s about so much more than focusing on sales, it’s about producing engaging content, telling great stories and trying to reach new and core audiences in a different way.

"We just felt that this fits so well with the First Choice brand philosophy of 'life’s too short to say no’. Finally we’d like to say a huge thank you to the couples involved. We hope to get a yes from all three and then we’ll be back in touch to help them plan their honeymoons."

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