Thomas Cook to run new TV ads later in year

Thomas Cook to run new TV ads later in year

A new suite of Thomas Cook TV advertisements will be rolled out later this year as part of the travel company’s bid to reach a new digital audience of customers following its rebrand.

The company has significantly increased its TV advertising spend from £2 million last year to £10 million so far this year and hopes to make its brand “more relevant” to more people.

Since June 1, the company has run three different TV advertisements, which have appeared every day at different times, featuring actor James Nesbitt.

Sales, marketing and ecommerce director Mike Hoban said screening TV advertisements every day was a critical plank in the company’s strategy to attract clients who use digital channels to research and book holidays.

He stressed the importance of long-term, consistent advertising rather than the short period of TV advertising traditionally used by travel companies as part of their peak season campaigns.

“The new advertisements will be a better articulation of the new brand; watch this space,” he said.

He would not reveal when Thomas Cook would launch its 2014 peak season campaign, which in the past has started on Boxing Day. For the last two years direct rival Tui Travel has shifted the start of its peaks campaigns from turn-of-year to the autumn.

Hoban added: “We have adopted an ‘always on (TV)’ strategy. Advertising works over the long term, not over weeks and months. I am very confident with the fact we have been on TV every day since the start of June. We will reap the benefits in the January period. If you think of brands that survive, they are brands that are committed to investing.”

Marketing expert Danny Rogers, editor-in-chief of the Republic Group, which includes Campaign, PR Week and Marketing, said there had been a significant increase in companies using TV advertising.

“A lot of people use the internet and mobile to watch TV. Making TV advertisements is not a bad move by Thomas Cook. Long-term brand building requires investment in proper TV advertising.”

The company’s attempt to attract more digital customers will also include promotions of in its shops, said Hoban.

The company’s new strapline is already being used to promote its website in its shops, with “Let’s Go” to direct customers online.

Hoban said Thomas Cook’s share as a brand in the high-street market was 35%-40% in comparison to just 7% in the online market.

“Clearly we want to grow our share of the online market. We want to become a digital business and reach that digital audience.”

The company has already set a global target of selling 50% of its products online by 2015 compared to 28% now.



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