Juliet Dennis spoke to Cardiff-based Alex Porter who has featured in Thomson’s ‘Discover Your Smile’ turn-of-year advertising campaign and is about to take a starring role
When it comes to appearing in front of the camera, Alex Porter is a natural.
After winning the 2013 Face of Thomson competition, she was asked last year if she would like to be part of Thomson’s Discover Your Smile campaign featuring Miles the Bear.
Alex had been filmed for Thomson’s training videos, photographed for marketing material and modelled uniforms, but taking part in a TV ad was a new experience.
“I was asked to go to a casting agency in London,” recalls Alex, who had to audition for a part in the TV ads alongside fully fledged actors.
“I was quite nervous as I had never done anything exactly like this before.”
In her favour was the fact that she knew Jamaica, where the ad was to be filmed, could wax lyrical about Thomson and had experience of acting from appearing in school shows and studying for an A level in the performing arts.
“I was always interested in acting but never pursued it as a career. At the casting, I had to talk about the destination. As I’ve been there and could talk about the Sensatori properties, I think my passion for Jamaica and for Thomson probably came across,” says Alex, who won the part over an actress to appear in the ad.
“I was over the moon,” she adds.
Not only did she then fly to Jamaica, where she was filmed walking a family through the Sensatori lobby, she was also in a behind-the-scenes video for Thomson’s Facebook page to show how the ad was put together.
In addition, Alex was filmed for a customer services-themed ad, which shows her advising a family on a holiday booking. It airs online and on TV in the spring.
Far from nerve-wracking, Alex found the whole experience exciting, and it has helped her increase sales to the Sensatori Jamaica.
“The best bit was doing the behind-the-scenes film with the cameraman, as I was allowed to ad lib in front of the camera,” she says. “I would love to do something like it again.”
Alex admits her role in the first ad, which went live on TV in September last year, was a “blink or you’ll miss it” part. “We had to play it three times for my dad to see me,” she jokes. “But he’s very proud.”
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