Robert Beatty’s campaign for Away depicts the “sci-fi-like experience of travel amid a pandemic”

The illustrator has brought his distinctively surreal style to 15 illustrations and animations for the brand’s Christmas campaign, which hopes to convey the strangeness of 2020.

16 November 2020


Robert Beatty is renowned for his singular illustration aesthetic, one which has brought retro sci-fi surrealism to album covers for The Flaming Lips and Tame Impala, as well as countless other brilliant projects. So it’s unexpected but nonetheless apt that retail and travel brand Away has worked with the American artist to create its Christmas campaign, which hopes to convey the “strangeness” of holiday traveling this year.

In 15 illustrations and five animations the illustrator depicts people at various stages of a journey, walking through endless airport corridors, waiting at stations, climbing escalators – so far so normal, or what used to be normal and now seems an alternate universe. And it’s that feeling that Beatty has brought to his imagery, injected with weird, dream-like imagery and souped-up, psychedelic colours that aim to show “the sci-fi-like experience of travelling amid a pandemic”. The characters, wearing face masks, have found themselves in Beatty’s kaleidoscopic, bizarre universe, and the results are a treat for the retinas.

Selena Kalvaria, Away’s chief marketing officer, says the “otherworldliness” of the campaign imagery looks to provide “a much needed sense of escapism from the harsh realities of 2020 holiday travel”. She adds that since the brand sits at the intersection of retail and travel, two of the pandemic’s hardest hit industries, the intention of the campaign was to relate to its customers and speak to its community about how the company will support their journeys during the holidays – when many will be braving travel for the first time in a while.

GalleryRobert Beatty: Away Holiday campaign (© Away, 2020)

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Robert Beatty: Away Holiday 2020 campaign

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Jenny Brewer

Jenny oversees our editorial output across work, news and features. She was previously It’s Nice That's news editor. Get in touch with any big creative stories, tips, pitches, news and opinions, or questions about all things editorial.

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