Home » Behind-The-Scenes » New Thomson holidays TV Ads and making of

New Thomson holidays TV Ads and making of

The new TV ad has been rolling on since the 22nd October, during The X Factor. Read about the concept behind the ads and how we made it below.

A demanding job, the household chores, the school run, walking the dog… with a ‘to do’ list like that, is it any wonder we struggle to fit in quality time with the people we care about most? If that sounds familiar, our new TV ad will strike a chord. It shines the spotlight on spending time with your loved ones, and looks at those special moments you have on holiday together – you know, the sort of moments that flash through your mind when you’re racing through the day, ticking off jobs left, right and centre.

At Thomson, we get that holiday time is precious. It’s that rare window in your calendar when you get to stop the rushing, relax, and really focus on your nearest and dearest. That’s why we’re the only travel company that designs holidays so that every bit, however big or small, is just right for you. Just take a look at our different ranges and you’ll see what we mean. There’s everything from Thomson Couples, a range of contemporary, adults-only hotels, to Thomson Family Resorts, which go all out when it comes to family holidays. It means all you have to do is sit back and enjoy yourself, with those that matter most.

Update 20/01/2012: The Thomson Ad now features the beautiful voice of Sunday Girl.

Having been inundated by requests since the ad went on air in October, Thomson is embarking on another travel industry first by replacing the current voiceover on its TV ad with the beautiful vocals of Sunday Girl performing Pixies ‘where is your mind’. The vocal track will be featuring on the couples version of the TV ad over the next few weeks.

The campaign, which takes ownership of “quality time” through rousing imagery and the beautiful music, taps into the emotions of all those watching who know how precious quality time with loved ones can be.

Behind The Scenes

The new TV ad was shot in Tenerife. Filming took place in 11 different places, with crew gathering 42 hours of film showing people enjoying quality time on a Thomson holiday.

The location scouts rooted out some great spots, like the picturesque village of Fasnia, where real villagers were hired as extras, and the beautiful Teresitas beach in San Andres. Other locations starring in the ad include our Thomson Sensatori Resort in Guia de Isora, and the Gran Hotel Bahia Del Duque in Costa Adeje.

Rather than staging each shot, the director went with the flow, letting the cast just enjoy themselves. The result? An ad showing those magic moments only a Thomson holiday can give you.

The Credits

42 cast and crew

38 extras roped in

10 crickets, 10 grasshoppers, 4 cats, 3 lizards, 2 dogs, 1 crab and a bunch of ants in starring roles 4 days of filming including over 17 hours of filming in one day

72 memory cards used to hold the footage

35 takes to get the closing line right

7 months to develop the initial concept into a finished ad

140 plus hours of editing to get 12 hours of footage into a 90-second ad

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169 Responses to “New Thomson holidays TV Ads and making of”

  1. rford@ricord.co.uk' Richard Ford

    This is a beautiful advert. To all you negatives out there, please don’t take it so serious. The music is stunning (wherever it came from) the child’s voiceover is perfect and I have to be honest it sends a shiver down my spine every time a see it. I peronally think it’s the best advert on tv at the moment. I normally fast forward but not for this one.

    • juliehealey2008@hotmail.co.uk' mrs julie healey

      thank you for your super comments about the” child voice over” its my 10yr nephew Thomas he has the most amazing speaking voice we are all so proud off him.

  2. smythefamily@tiscali.co.uk' A.n. ominous

    Love it. Best advert on TV by far. You don’t need a holiday to enjoy moments with family but it sure feels like it would be good. Takes me back to being a child and enjoying France. Well done Thompson.

  3. alanlee@hotmail.com' alan lee

    I can’t believe some of the comments on here. Think back to your childhood, what do you remember? Holidays. Thats the message of the ad, they are so special. Life and childhood quickly passes, make the most. Thats the message.

  4. suzanne677@hotmail.co.uk' suzanne

    I do not like the way the advert tries to play on your emotions so much. Yes I strongly agree that time is the most important thing, especially spending time with those you love however, you do not need to splash out on a holiday to do so. Yes, it is a great advert for those who can afford to go on holiday but not everyone can. I think it will leave a lot of people feeling unhappy that they cannot go, not to mention the children who do not understand the difficulties of paying for things.

    • notforyou@email.com' Lara

      Couldn’t agree more. Not a good advert.

    • carlashton@hotmail.co.uk' Carl

      Surely thats the same for every advertisement out there though?! Do you equally complain about adverts for toys that are unaffordable? Or chocolate bars that are just out of reach?!!

  5. michaela018@hotmail.com' Michaela

    Does not put me in the Holiday mood at all!!!!
    Its quite nice to observe, but i think that music would be better with Thomson filming the inside of one of there aircraft on a packed flight to Egypt 5.5 hours and no room to move, i think the desperate look on the passengers faces would be more in tune with that sad music!!!!!!!
    No this years Thomas Cook advert did it for me, fantastic! made me want to book many holidays!!!!!!!

  6. sutherlan.s876@gmail.com' Sarah McCarthy

    I love the little boys voice. I have children and me and my husband want to take them away last minute as its half term. This ad made us make up our mind and we booked it. Thanks Thomson, Also, where can we buy the music please!?

    • shaunpeterhealey@gmail.com' Shaun Healey

      The voiceover is amazing, you should know that the boy in the film isn’t the boy you hear narrating.

    • juliehealey2008@hotmail.co.uk' mrs julie healey

      the voice over in this advert is all done my my lovley 10year old nehpew Thomas ..who we are so very proud off and …is NOT the little boy in the video

    • Joweaver@hotmail.co.uk' JO Weaver

      Has the voiceover actor done anything else, we recognise the voice so much but cant place it!!! Love his voice though.xx

  7. kenn.stewart@sky.com' kenn

    The music is the Pixies Where is my Mind but its almost an exact copy of the Storm Large version from her Crazy Enough cd and the wonderful James Beaton on piano

  8. anton@vamplew.co.uk' Anton

    TUI, never ask people what they think of an ad, as you just get ambling nonsense from some. Heck, what do the public know about marketing, right?

  9. benjamin.kaye@dsgiplc.com' Benjamin Kaye

    Beautifully shot, great engagement and really pulls the heart strings but not soppy; a very difficult balance to achieve. Only concern is where does the brand fit in with the story? Seems like a category ad to me.

  10. alanonefc@gmail.com' Alan Catherall

    This advert reminds me of the montage shots at the end of Lost………..i wouldn’t suggest its a rip off of that idea at all

  11. janstandley@btinternet.com' Jan


  12. markeaton1112@hotmail.com' Mark Eaton (Merseyside)

    I think a lot of you have lost touch with what this ad is aiming at.
    In todays hectic times of business an the everyday hussle & bussle of life, this ad is just reminding us all of how important quality time is with our families and loved ones.
    Yes it is to get you to book a holiday with them, but 99.9% of holidays from childhood to adulthood are the best memories we have ever had.
    Remember we are only on this planet once and it is not a rehearsal, so enjoy family & friends time and treasure the moments you have together.

  13. ahlem8_2000@yahoo.com' Linda

    Don’t like the new ad at all. We all know we should try to spend more time with our families, I thought it was melancholy and I doubt it would inspire me to run off and book a holiday. Felt more like a bereavment!

  14. jh121@gmail.com' John Hamilton

    This is an amazing piece of work. The music is brave and made me stop. Really special. Whoever was in charge of the music should feel pretty good right now.

  15. alifesosweet@googlemail.com' Helen and Paul

    Every time we watch this ad, we have a tear in our eye and a lump in our throat! This ad is brilliant, or as my husband says, “beautiful”. It touches the heart and has prompted us to book a holiday, (which we have done this afternoon). The ad campaign obviously works, so someone has done their job very well. Thank you Thomson.

  16. diamondsndust@hotmail.co.uk' Alan M

    If I was a shareholder of Thomsons I’ll be asking the question – was this ad was worth the money? Did it get across the company’s brand and products to a wide audience – it didn’t IMHO and it didn’t with the rest of my family who didn’t know the ad was going to be shown. They couldn’t remember the name of the company 5 minutes later when I asked them. Nice concept and execution but the brand and sales message was lost in the translation for us. Glad I’m not a shareholder or the CEO.

    • markeaton1112@hotmail.com' Mark

      I think you did remember who done the advertisement because you left a message on this site, so it did work i think,dont you?

    • alanlee@hotmail.com' Alan Lee

      What a pathetic response Alan M. I heard this ad in the background and literally stopped what i was doing. Perfect. It has nearly a million hits on YouTube, I reckon the company will be quite pleased.

  17. burnblaze@gmail.com' Paul Treacy

    You really need to get the music for the ad on to iTunes, it’s hauntingly beautiful and arranged really well. Guy Farley could make a bit of dosh of the back of the ad and drum up some publicity for your campaign.

  18. steviephil@gmail.com' Steve

    Who wrote the music? I’d be concerned if the composer told you they wrote it especially, as I’m sure it’s ripped something off note-for-note, unless it’s a cover version?

    • poo@hotmail.com' lewis

      sounds a lot like the pixies-where is my mind? just a softer piano version

    • doowah1969@hotmail.com' sean

      definitely The Pixies – Where is My Mind

  19. nospam.addy@ntlworld.com' Brian Addy

    A very poor video, typical of Thomson, not showing the Truth about their resorts, some of this video has been shot at the Sensatori hotel in Teneriffe, I have been there and will never return, it is not 5* but it is 5* prices, full of Children in prams. Thomson do nothing for the local community, they take everything from the local village with their All inclusive and their half board plus and give nothing back

    • amy_lew83@hotmail.com' Amy

      Its not just Thomsons who offer All Inclusive so the same can be said for most travel companies! The major Tour operators supply what the CUSTOMER wants, if they want all inclusive then thats what they will be given! I personally like to eat out on holidays and see the local community. Working in the travel industry myself though i can honestly say that most enquiries i receive are for all inclusive and Thomsons wouldnt be one of the biggest travel brands on the high street if they ignored that!

  20. davidcwmdare@hotmail.com' David Lewis

    Well filmed but what about middle aged or older couples who tend to go on holidays more often,not just at peak times.These are the people you need to encourage,the grey pound.

  21. Sana-omar-khan@live.com' Sana

    Great ad – haven’t been away for a while since we got messed around by Holidays 4 U. This has brought back all the memories/feeling we’ve been missing out on… Going to sit down tomorrow and book my first Thomson holiday! i’ll nudge my hubby during the x factor commercials. I hope jonny gets kicked out! Misha B to win! nice blog btw bookmarked

  22. hitchin@thomson-shop.co.uk' Rebecca Hayes

    I Love this advert- its true to most peoples hearts. Going on holidsay is time to spend with Loved ones and will have great memories. Well done Thomson :O) this makes me smile and want to book a holiday.

  23. george-walton@ntlworld.com' George Walton

    Very good advert and not over powering, but I believe it will be difficult this year for people to finance their holidays so it probably would have been much better to offset the cost of producing this advert off the cost of holidays after all there will be more people than ever looking for a better deal no matter what adverts are out there.

  24. owensralpho@aol.com' hazel owens

    its great makes you want a holiday know last year in spain ith the foster kids was brill thay loved it never bored will go again

  25. nicola.marshall3@sky.com' nicola marshall

    oh my god i love it its so true to so many people who are hard working with familes and really do cherise there summer holiday
    i had a tear in my eye watching this
    well done thomson

  26. taylormade8@virginmedia.com' a taylor

    It seems more like a funeral advert and the music gives it a sad effect.their is no happy holiday feel to this ad .

  27. john.bevan@hotmail.com' John Bevan

    Oh Thomson! You’ve tried to do a John Lewis or BA ad and failed. It’s a bit morose. That music made me think it was going to be an NSPCC or Macmillan advert. Really was expecting the end to say something like, ‘Call now and pledge just £2 a month to help children like Johnny’.

    Why did you ditch those ‘Welcome to my world’ ads? So clever. Felt really upbeat but classy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcTrCXVrsPk

    Better still, bring back Mr Bowler Hat Thomson from the 80s. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tln79P1M5Ls

    Did find this, which made me laugh. Better than the new one! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKUJegVP5dw

    • alanlee@hotmail.com' Alan Lee

      Did those ads get a million hits on Youtube?

  28. sianyb@gmail.com' SBARR

    Not very exciting and doesn’t really get me in the holiday mood either…bit of an odd advert really, I prefer the ad they show on the aircraft, it’s cute and funny! Like Thomson and Thomas Cook holidays equally and this wouldn’t inspire me to book one over the other! Shame Thomson have dropped flight meals last year, my son loves them! 🙂

  29. info@rodaonline.com' Steve Williams

    I find the message to be somewhat at odds with the practice. Encouraging families to spend two weeks together in each others’ company is admirable – possibly the only time of the year that it ever happens. The escalation of all-inclusive hotels counters that by inviting parents to abdicate their responsibilities and let their kids at best, go their own way, or at worst run riot. Thomson are trying to turn a negative into a positive.

  30. Marshian7@hotmail.com' Marshian

    Great, We are off to tenerrife in December on a cruise and stay, the first time I will be visiting other than to embark on a cruise. And I intend to do a lot more if I can, the essence of the Ad is that life is short, too true, enjoy every moment you can.

  31. alex.saul@btinternet.com' Alex

    Nice ad and good service focused company, but beware of their currency exchange tactics. Exchanged £200 and asked if there were any costs associated with paying by card (could have popped to cash point next door), was told no need for cash, card was free. Card was free over the counter, but a week later there was £3.50 extra deducted from my bank statement, listed as charge for currency conversion and payable to Thomson – either their staff didn’t know or are told to con the customer – either way its poor customer service!

    • darylg04@aol.com' Daryl

      This charge is deducted by your bank not Thomson, I am with Nationwide and then don’t charge for this. I have always found Thomson’s FX rates the best in town and their travel money card is brill! Great ad Thomson reminds me of such great times and reminds me why I don’t book Thomas Cook 🙂

    • wija72@hotmail.com' James

      The charge is from the local bank, not Nationwide. Got the same at the Crete Sensatori.
      Also we got charged by Sensatori Crete when paying our final bill at the desk. This is stated on the Bank statement. Nationwide did charge us, but half of what Sensatori did.

  32. sandtoftfield@yahoo.co.uk' Dave Robinson

    Good general ad, but we cruise. We’ve been on the Spirit (our first and very special), Destiny, Calypso (Corinth canal – superb), and Celebration. All have their own special place. Could I suggest (I can’t find them anywhere else so far), that the cruising short videos on the Thomson website are put on YouTube. Currently they are streamed and you have to watch them on the website. I managed to download them eventually but would have much preferred to be able to download them from YouTube (much easier). They are excellent and as we were new to cruising then, helped a great deal. Since finding Thomson cruises, we’ve never looked back and have never had a poor holiday. Don’t forget there are facebook sites for particular Thomson ships. Sorry about the Calypso as it ‘just’ fit down the Corinth canal, which made it even more impressive. Wonderful memories and more (hopefully) to come… Dave

    • paulineray@hotmail.co.uk' Pauline Wilkinson

      Best advert yet well done.

  33. yvonnedawson3@hotmail.co.uk' Yvonne

    Doesn’t inspire me at all. Looks dark and miserable and the girl in the pool at dusk looks like she’s about to be eaten by jaws! The beach looks like it is in the UK rather than a sunny climate abroad. The Sainsbury’s advert where she goes from the supermarket to the beach is much more inspiring as a holdiay advert and it’s actually for a supermarket. Sorry TUI, I think you’ve got it wrong this time.


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