Outlook is sunny for Thomson

Latest campaign featuring idyllic beach scenes boosts positive brand image for holiday tour operator.

Thomson: ads create the scene
Thomson: ads create the scene

The recession has caused a number of casualties in the travel sector.

The collapse of XL Holidays in September led to travel operators Thomson and First Choice announcing they were happy to offer advice to consumers, regardless of which company travellers had booked their holiday with.

Since then, Thomson has launched a new advertising campaign, with the latest ads aimed at raising awareness of how its holidays are designed with the consumer in mind.

Thomson's "Built with you in mind" campaign aired for the first time on 21 December and has continued into 2009, resulting in a continuing positive trend for the brand.

The ad features various Thomson representatives setting up a perfect beach scene, sifting the sand and removing crabs and dark cloud from the sandy shores.

When the ad first aired, the buzz rating for Thomson was 0%, but by mid-January, it had peaked at 5%.

Over the same period, the brand's general impression and corporate scores also improved, up four points and three points respectively.

At the end of January, Thomson ran another ad to complement the "Built with you in mind" marketing drive.

The latter ad, which featured First Choice Holidays - Thomson's sister company under the TUI Travel umbrella - alongside Thomson, was designed to reassure consumers that both firms are protected by the Air Travel Organisers' Licensing scheme (ATOL).

The second ad created an even greater improvement in the general impression scores for the brand, which increased seven points to peak at 14% on 1 February.

The positive effect created by the two campaigns demonstrates that consumers are craving reassurance and safety guarantees in today's uncertain economic climate, with the ATOL awareness ads proving particularly effective.

Over the next few years, tour operators will pray that consumers do not sacrifice their holidays in times of hardship - and they will bank on advertising in the vein of Thomson's recent campaigns to ensure this scenario does not occur.

METHODOLOGY: YouGov interviews 2,000 people each weekday to form its BrandIndex, a daily measure of public perception of more than 1,100 consumer brands across 32 sectors. It is measured on a seven-point profile:
1 Buzz
2 General impression
3 Quality
4 Value
5 Satisfaction
6 Recommend
7 Corporate reputation.
In addition, we supply an index score.


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