Thomson readies ‘memorable and different’ new year campaign

Holiday brand Thomson’s new year campaign will be led by a short film telling the story of “Simon the Ogre”.

Thomson ad
Thomson ads will tell the story of how “Simon the Ogre” is restored after a Thomson holiday.

The brand, owned by TUI, says its activity will be “memorable and different” and has already seeded online clues (see video below) as to the storyline for the two-minute brand ad on an interactive campaign hub – but the full film will debut on 27 December.

The ad, created by Beattie McGuinness Bungay, depicts a dad as a surly horned ogre stressed by his office work but who gradually transforms while on a restorative holiday into his much more pleasant true self. The strapline will be “It’s amazing what a Thomson holiday can do.”

There will be four shorter versions of the ad designed to highlight different features of a Thomson holiday including its Dreamliner aircraft and the MyThomson app.

Marketing director Jeremy Ellis says: “The insight shows why holidays are so important – not just for men but women too. We wanted to demonstrate that we understand what is important in life and to also show our products are the right solution to addressing ‘life truths’”.

Ellis says that next year the company intends to continue its modernisation story and wants to “demonstrate how we are leading and innovating in marketing in the travel sector and how our service is changing.” Read a fuller interview with Ellis here.

The campaign will be supported by an outdoor, print and social campaign and when the ad debuts the online hub www.meagain.co.uk will change its image from Simon’s office to reveal Simon’s hotel room at a Sensatori resort.

The social media activity will encourage people to send in images via Twitter and Instagram of their perfect holiday moment and the winning image will be selected to feature in the final ad of the series. Children will also be encouraged to draw pictures of their dads before and after their holidays.

There will also be press activity in near real time to take advantage of the “January blues” – the ads will show real photos from the resorts taken the day previously with copy lines such as “This is a Sensatori resort yesterday” and giving the temperature.

TUI recently posted strong results showing pre-tax profit for the 12 months to 30 September up 21 per cent to £473m on revenue up 4 per cent to £15bn.

Sister TUI brand First Choice, which focuses on all-inclusive holidays, will also launch a TV campaign on Sunday (22 December). Ellis explained that the aim of the ad was to bring to life the “carefree indulgence” that holidaymakers can enjoy on these vacations.

The key image of the ads, also by BMB, is a gigantic pink beach towel and this will be used in various ways including online in a competition to hide various items that must be discovered. The ads will have the strapline “All you can … is all we do. First Choice, the Home of All Inclusive”.

Ellis agrees that the competition in the all-inclusive space is hotting up and so First Choice has to show why it offers the best product in the sector.

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