Firstly, I have to declare an interest in the following piece of work, but only through my freelancing role. Back in 2016, I did a stint at Y&R LDN as a senior writer. There was a pitch on to retain the Thomson’s piece of business as it migrated over to the German parent company of Tui.
I didn’t actually realise the Thomson logo, which manifests itself as a smile, is in fact the Tui logo with a T as the corner of a mouth, the u as a smile and the eye is the dot on the i the u morphs into.
Obviously, not as charming a name and many questioned the wisdom of changing all the high-street signage, but companies don’t invest that much dosh changing all their corporate livery for no reason.
It transpires that every time Thomson’s ran an ad, Thomas Cook benefited as the first four letters of their names were the same. Thomas Cook was copping a fair amount from Thomson’s comm’s action without splashing any cash.
Not such a daft idea to create some distance between the two names then. But Tui has no emotional history of holidays booked abroad with us Brits.
I wrote a line, ‘We cross the T’s, dot the I’s and put U in the middle’. It put a service proposition at the heart of its travel agency offering, promising a fastidious attention to detail and always putting the holidaymaker centre stage.
When you consider how much money we spend for a couple of weeks of sun, sea and errrr sangria… that’s the least we should expect.
But before the pitch happened, I moved on and only when I sent my dear friend Jonathan Burley a text message some months later asking how the pitch went, did I get a reply that he was in Turkey baking his ass off whilst shooting the launch commercial.
The Christmas of 2017 saw that commercial airing to a point where everybody was as sick of it as they were of turkey and mince pies.
It got lambasted for its rendition of ‘Ain’t Nobody’ sung by an aspiring actress who wasn’t as vocally gifted as Lady Gaga (I daren’t mention the turkey word for a third time).
Inspired as it was by the Oscar-winning La La Land, it delivered on escapism, but didn’t quite tap into an emotive territory.
What They Did
However, emotive territory has been well and truly covered in this latest commercial where a mum forces her moody teenage daughter to join her on her hols, dragging her through all the delights a Sensatori Resort has to offer.
Keeping an element of song and dance, it avoids the Hollywood treatment and puts the action to a The Strokes track ‘Someday’.
It puts pace into the 30-second slot and tells the in-depth story with remarkable efficiency.
It also draws out the emotion of mum and daughter reconnecting again without going all slushy and vomit-inducing.
The performances are believable and the daughter really nails the ‘you are so embarrassing mum’ role.
It got a rare thumbs up from Mrs Malcolm and therefore is bestowed with one of the highest commendations there is for a TV commercial.
Four stars from me with only one gripe that the Tui logo tucked in the top left corner throughout is an unnecessary distraction.
In the WPP turmoil with Y&R LDN becoming VMLY&R making all the headlines, it goes to show that the true focus should always be the work, the work, the work.