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Presenting The New Thomson TV Advert: Simon – A Film With A Smile

Our new ad hits TV screens today and our blog writer, El, went behind the scenes to find out what happened when the cameras weren’t rolling…

Christmas Day’s been and gone, you’re regretting that last ill-advised roast potato, and the fun’s over for another year, right? Wrong. For the beady-eyed among you, you’ll have noticed we’ve been teasing you for a couple of weeks with the promise of something coming. Something big. We’re so excited to finally share with you our new Thomson advert, gracing a TV screen near you. Ladies and gentlemen, we present ‘Simon’…

You weren’t expecting that from us, were you? Our aim was to bring to life the true power of a holiday, and thanks to our unlikely hero, Simon – not to mention everyone working tirelessly behind the camera – we think it’s fair to say it’s mission accomplished.

Back in September I couldn’t believe my luck when I was invited to the London set to watch the UK scenes of our ad being filmed. For a telly addict like me, this was like getting a golden ticket to Wonka’s chocolate factory. So, resisting the temptation to trawl the 3Mills studios for a film star sighting, or at least a soap star, I arrived on set armed with my trusty iPhone. Here’s what I captured…

It’s a section of a Thomson 787 Dreamliner, holed up in a studio in the East End. Completely normal. These Dreamliner seats came all the way from sunny LA and took 15 people a fortnight to put together.

Recognise that drawing? Drawn by the little girl in the ad, it was big Thomson smiles all round.

Thomson’s Senior Marketing Manager, Peter Emmerson (right), and Stephen Yates from our ad agency, Beattie McGuinness Bungay, testing out our comfy Dreamliner seats. Don’t blame them for the cheesy pose, that was under my direction. I have a feeling the globally-aclaimed director of our ad, Fredrick Bond, won’t need to watch his back any time soon…

A booklet listing the names of the 152 people involved in the filming of the advert (yes, 152) and a frame-by-frame guide to every scene. The timings were stuck to with military precision.

Possibly one of the best lunches I’ve ever eaten (on a bus! Just like in Extras!). Which either means the food was phenomenally good… or I need to get out more.

Our ogre friend, Simon, getting wheeled around the office set in Woolwich. Such a diva.

Hurrah. More food. I’d like to blame Simon for the disappearance of half the sandwiches. But that would be a lie. *Licks mayonnaise from fingers*

Our big star has a lie-down. Perhaps he was weak from a lack of sandwiches. Or maybe it was due to the 130°C heat (unconfirmed, but probably true) within his padded ogre suit.

Ogres. Big feet. Big smiles.

Exterior shots in Greenford, west London. The spotty green tablecloth from before makes a welcome return, displaying the lifeblood of all film sets… coffee. And plenty of it.

Greenford. Formally known for being the birthplace of supermodel, Jourdan Dunn. Now it’s the site of Simon’s House. I think that deserves a blue plaque.

Tune in tomorrow when I’ll be getting the scoop from the stars of our new ad.

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