Slogan Doctor: 'let yourself go'

The tagline used by in its TV ads has three meanings, two helpful, one less so.

by John Morrish
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Devised by branding consultant Lambie-Nairn and launched in 2005, it invites you, first, to give in to your hedonistic instincts and, second, to give yourself permission to take a foreign holiday. There's an implicit recognition that air travel is increasingly a guilty pleasure. But then to 'let yourself go' is also to neglect your appearance, personal hygiene, weight and even morals. Indeed, this is probably the dominant meaning of the phrase, except when teaching bicycling, salsa dancing or sky-diving. We can only conclude that Lambie-Nairn didn't mind. Perhaps it wanted to invoke the holidaymaker's escape from conventional concerns: freedom to take off your watch, switch off your phone, stop shaving and put on shorts for a fortnight. Judging by the well-groomed people in Expedia's ads, though, that's unlikely. Perhaps it should say: 'Let yourself go - but not too far.'

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