Thomson

Less Shouting, More Communicating: Advertising Grows Up

Gee Ranasinha Business, Communications, Video 6 Comments

There are many who’ll say that today’s TV advertising is crass, blatant and bereft of creativity. Then an ad such as this comes along (click here if you can’t see the ad below):

I’ve only just been made aware of the piece, which was launched back in October 2011. Instead of doing the usual thing of boring the viewer with hyped rhetoric about how great / affordable / whatever their holiday packages are, Thomson Holidays turn the message around to it being about you, the viewer, with a simple voiceover from a young boy:

“It’s time you stopped, put down your phone, and hold your loved one’s hand. Nice, isn’t it? Those close to you: share with them a week or two, and they’ll cherish it forever.”

They could have shouted about how great / interesting / value for money / whatever their holidays are, as pretty much every holiday company does in their advertising. They could have packed the spot with bright colors, loud music and flashing images and shoved their message down the viewer’s throat.

Instead, we have calm, relaxing visuals, with a soundtrack featuring a orchestral reworking of The Pixies’ 1988 track “Where Is My Mind?” (the piano solo was apparently recorded by the ad’s producer, Guy Farley).

By thinking differently, Thomson Holidays succeeded in raising their message above the noise. The result is a poignant, moving piece of advertising that’s pretty much guaranteed to tug on the emotions of anyone who’s ever felt guilty about how much time they spend at work.

Today, pretty much the only way to elevate your business value communication above the average is to stop being average.  No-one takes notice of the average any more. If your company isn’t making waves in its advertising, its messaging, its customer service, its branding, then no one can see you.

In a world dominated by shades of grey, we’ve taken to only notice of the blacks and the whites as a way of filtering out all of the content that’s competing for our attention. Unless you are clearly demonstrating to your target markets how you’re different, and (therefore) why they should be buying from you as opposed to someone else, you risk being drowned-out by the sea of mediocrity.

In which case, make sure you bring a tube of sunblock with you.

About the Author
Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

Gee Ranasinha

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After founding a successful media production firm, Gee became worldwide director of marketing for a European software company. As well as CEO of KEXINO he's an author, lecturer, husband, and father; and one hell of a nice bloke. He lives in a world of his own in Strasbourg, France, tolerated by his wife and young son. Find out more about Gee at kexino.com/gee-ranasinha.



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Comments 6

  1. Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

    Nice spot, to be sure. But then, I’m a big fan of this kind of tone and messaging. One of my favorites is an old spot for Haggen Dazs (
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEpenoD9-Ts). The thing about the Thomson Holidays piece above that I find so wonderful is that it was made in the first place. Can’t you hear the push-back during the pitch? “But any of our competitors could run this ad. How does it differentiate us?” Glad they took the leap.

    1. Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

      Great Häagen-Dazs spot, Michael! Thanks for sharing.

      I hear you – I’d love to know what Beattie McGuinness Bungay, the ad agency responsible, said to the client to convince them to go with the idea. Though perhaps Thomson Holidays is one of those enlightened companies that understand that “shouting” doesn’t work any more.

      Many thanks for leaving a comment. It’s much appreciated.

  2. Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

    It is a brilliant ad – and it works, I instantly felt calmer and wanted a holiday (even a family holiday seems less chaotic). Interesting accent chosen. Great articles on your site !

    1. Avatar for Gee Ranasinha
  3. Avatar for Gee Ranasinha
    1. Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

      Exactly! So why are ads like this so rare?

      Maybe it’s ignorance, the fear of doing something different, or corporate ego – or a combination of all three. Regardless, companies need to realize that consumers expect more.

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