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

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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212 Responses to “Presenting The New Thomson TV Advert: Simon – A Film With A Smile”

  1. rob-meista@hotmail.co.uk' Rob

    Amazed people take things so literally and did not get the metaphor of being ran down with the stresses of life and not being or feeling yourself.

    I extremely enjoyed the advert.

  2. mason_mike@tiscali.co.uk' Mike Mason

    I cannot believe some of the ridiculous comments by some people. I personally think the advert is brilliant and most people I have spoken to also think it’s great – particularly those with kids, because that’s the whole point of the advert. YES – men are often perceived as being OGRE’s , but anyone with an imagination and the chance to see the ‘real’ person, will get it. Nothing to do with what men really ‘are’ like, but this is often how men ‘themselves’ feel about family life – long hours, come home and ‘bark orders’ , then go to bed thinking, ‘I was a bit hard there…..’ , we’ve all done it (AND it goes for women too), but you’ve only got 30 secs or so in an advert…….. but who cares, great ad, great idea, loved it, love Thomson (and no I don’t work for them or have any association with them other than ‘I like them’. P.S. Can someone tell me where the advert is filmed (both chalets and beach 🙂 ). P.P.S. going back to El Greco Rethymnon in the summer.

    • James @Thomson

      That’s for your great feedback Mike! We really appreciate it. The advert was filmed at our Sensatori Crete, the perfect destination to unwind and release that ogre feeling 🙂

  3. Nickw9@me.com' Nick Williams

    I wonder how many complaints you would had received if the ogre was the woman? The fact that men don’t complain about this kind of rubbish doesn’t mean it is not sexist. Very very dull.

  4. wehay2003@aol.com' Steven

    Thomson you ought to be ashamed you have no respect
    for people with deformaties
    and very distastefull
    a very distressing advert.

  5. val.jordan@hotmail.co.uk' Valerie Jordan

    This advert is absolutely disgusting and would put me off booking a holiday with Thomson in case all their clients were as ugly. Also i think it is insulting to people who have disfigurements. Surely you should be showing people the fun side of a family holiday.

    • allyburnett@gmail.com' Ally

      So you wouldn’t want to go on holiday with people who are ugly or look disfigured. That in itself is really quite insulting to those with disfigurements.

      I have a daughter with a facial disfigurement and I don’t find this advert remotely insulting. It’s an ogre.

  6. drbblueyonder@hotmail.com' Duncan Brown

    watched this for first time with my 12 year old daughter. She was perplexed and couldnt grap the connection with a holiday. As soon as I saw the ogre I prayed it would be a holiday advert! – for me is was spot on. 2 Generations and 2 totally different point of views – i’d say well aimed at the people who really need holidays and understand their importance .

  7. sarah_leeves@live.co.uk' Sarah

    Massive pat on the back for Thomson and their marketing team. This advert reflects how adverts can be well made and emotive. It’s a real shame people have to look for inderlying controversy in everything; a family can find joy in a holiday and feel refreshed, that’s the point. At no point is Simon menacing, he is just washed out which is shown by his lumbering appearance. It does not imply that men are monsters and Simon’s family are by no means scared of him. Simon is an ogre and, by that definition, his appearance will be larger and not the ‘norm’ so, no the advert does not make fun of or reference people with facial disfigurements.

    What this advert does is show how holidays can be a magical time for families. It is really well made and I would rather watch this advert on repeat then the horrendous loan, bingo and gamblings adverts that we are bombarded with.

    If this advert offends you, don’t watch Shrek and, lastly, if you have felt the need to complain about this advert instead of all of the wasteful television and truly damaging adverts being broadcast currently, then you should take a look at your priorities.

    Congratulations Thomson, you did good.

    • sarahowen1967@gmail.com' Sarah Owen

      Well said, I agree with all you wrote …. aren’t some people plain miserable.

  8. barlowian13@gmail.com' Ian

    I cannot agree with any of the bad feed back about this advert. I think its a very good one, one of the best that’s being run at the moment. Cannot think of any that I would stop and rewind and play again, normally I just fast forward through the adverts but lucky for you I was doing something at the time and the music brought me back into the room. That music is so catchy, I love it. And I love the advert, well done.

  9. cyril5246@ntlworld.com' cyril dobson

    the ogre advert is absolutely stupid
    don’t you want any children on your holidays

  10. finlayaaron@gmail.com' julia

    Really need to come up with an advert that showcases the amazing range of products Thomson sell instead of trying to be clever!
    Doesn’t really make me want to book a holiday!

  11. brian@barleyhill.eclipse.co.uk' brian walsh

    A great pity you were not running the nhs in 1966, just think all those people like my son who were born then could have had all their deformities and disablements cured by going on a Thomson holiday. I have met and dealt with some really sick people in my time, but you have taken the biscuit with this one. Of course your twisted brain will say “well at least people have taken notice and they are talking about it”, so that’s all right then is it?. Had my son still been alive I am sure he would have done your advert for nothing well maybe a new pair of legs would have been handy, and a handful of werthers riginals. I hope you have to deal with something in later life that will make you realise how lucky you are.

  12. hcdeleon@msn.com' Camille

    LOVE your Piano Guys music!!!! I think their music is what turns the Ogre into a regular human again!!!!

  13. etunar86@yahoo.com' Esen

    I thought it was a brilliant ad. I don’t understand why people take everything so seriously and point out little details as negatives?

  14. miledus2@gmail.com' Tony Doherty

    All 152 personnel involved in the producing of this totally ridiculous advert should be fired – Immediately. The ogre metamorphoses into a handsome husband, Huh! get real. This stupid add would not induce me to book a holiday with Thompson. Get it off –now.

  15. cg005b1011@blueyonder.co.uk' sam

    Your Ogre advert could land you in serious trouble with thousands of disappointed women, they will return from their Thomson Holiday with
    the same ugly husband they went away with.
    Obviously they would have been hoping for a life changing experience namely “Ogre to Adonis”
    I think you should include a message..”miracles not guaranteed”
    Sincerely Sam

  16. wingnutt-tina@hotmail.com' Tina Mills

    I have just seen your “Simon the Ogre” advert for the first time and its totally inspiring. What a clever way of putting across everything that a holiday company stands for – well done Thomson and all the production team!! I cannot believe some of the ridiculous negative comments that people have posted about this TV advert – these people need to get a life and learn how to use the off button on their TVs if they are so offended by such a sweet little Advert!!

    Thank you Thomson a brilliant way to portray what holidays are all about – Fairy Tale memories.
    Kind regards
    Tina and Ian Mills

  17. m.r.b@gmx.us' mark

    Superb Advert, People who dislike this advert are obviously taking this too objectively where the context is subjecive, superbly made and gets the point across what a holiday is all about. I have enjoyed thomson cruises in the past and will, after seeing this ad enjoy more in the future

  18. andrewkpike@gmail.com' Andrew James

    This advert is just horrible. In a former life I used to deal with people with various disfigurements and imagine this ad would be upsetting to some of them. It certainly is to me. I’ve also been involved in marketing. This ad shows the importance of client judgement and presumably not always believing the research – if they did any. Emotive? Yes. Memorable? Yes – so presumably lots of marketeers getting their rocks off over it. Likely to make target audiences buy a Thomson holiday? Not this one… In fact, would be a cold day in hell if I ever went on a Thomson holiday after this. But then again, that could be the theme for next year’s ad going on your present form.

  19. Garym@hacel.co.uk' Gary

    Appallingly bad taste in an advert! Whoever thought of this idea should be sacked. Will definitely not be buying a holiday through Thomson this year!

  20. pauljfrancis58@hotmail.com' Paul

    I think thead is great, it’s like a movie, men do need a holiday to get the stresses of life out thier system, well done, great job !

  21. richard@redcliffe.f2s.com' Richard Redcliffe

    This advert was in extraordinary bad taste luring the unsuspecting viewer into a bizarre parody of a fairy tale which turns out to be an attempt to sell holidays. Are we really to be entertained by suggesting some men are “monsters or socially dysfunctional characters” who can be transformed into normal human beings by going on Thomson Holidays – not even funny. I felt very uneasy about using a “Phantom of the Opera” character in the context of selling holidays. This is the problem – what is acceptable in an appropriate context is not in an inappropriate one -which this was. Did it have an impact – certainly but for the wrong reasons.Another example of pushing the boundaries in order to be different – memorable for all the wrong reasons!

    • stuart.paterson.90@gmail.com' Stuart

      People like you read between the lines too much. It is, in a way suggesting some men are socially dysfunctional characters, yes (because I, myself can be one of these men!), but in a light hearted way. You, my friend are too open to the elements and would probably take offence if Starbucks stopped recycling their paper cups. It is aimed at everyone, with the story of how a holiday can change you. Yes, it is portrayed in a physical transformation, but there is nothing wrong with that. Its aimed at kids too, with the cinematic, ‘Shrek’ ogre feel.

      Its meant to be light hearted, fun, and emotional. If you had even a glimpse of those emotions, you’d see it too.

  22. Carl.ireland@hotmail.co.uk' Carl

    Brilliant Advert , a great Family Feel about it , and a great Story , also love the music used.

  23. Gillrobinson30@hotmail.co.uk' Gill

    Awful advert!! Just put in a complaint to the ASA!!

    • janetpayne69@gmail.com' Jay

      Hi Gill, Thanks for the post, I have know complained to the ASA.

  24. sbdtiger@gmail.com' Mal

    What a truly awful advert, the ogre looks silly and the reaction from other people in the advert is wrong. Waste of money and it really wouldn’t make me book a holiday with you, I also think that the music doesn’t actually work, can’t work out if It’s meant to be sad,melancholy or uplifting. Overall massive fail.

    • stuart.paterson.90@gmail.com' Stuart

      Haha. Yep, sums you up as a person “wouldn’t book a holiday with you”.

      If an advert makes you hate a company so much that you wouldn’t use their services (its not exactly portraying taking food from the needy).

      Then, I think you watch a little too much TV

  25. dabber020262@yahoo.com' Kevin Davies

    Very distasteful and an insult to people with facials disfigurements.Don’t think this advert will go down very well at all.

  26. rudgematthew1@aol.com' Matt Rudge

    Absolutely ridiculous and quite disturbing. Did not enjoy this advert one little bit. Certainly did not make me pick up a thomson holiday brochure.

    • janetpayne69@gmail.com' Jay

      Hi Matt, Your words are exactly how I feel too but bet Thomson do not ‘pull’ it!

  27. daniel@ddavies678.orangehome.co.uk' Mr Dan

    Just seen this add, thought it was brilliant, shows how u can feel on the inside by mirroring it to physical appearance, as a working father and husband it is spot on, it’s about breaking the shackles and being yourself without the stress of work etc, as you can when away with no worries, it’s an advert that to me done it’s job.

    • Elaine.lea@thomson.co.uk' Elaine @Thomson

      Thanks for the lovely comments Mr Dan and I’m so pleased that you like our advert.

  28. pwrees2002@yahoo.co.uk' Paul

    Fantastic advert – very emotive! I’m in Marketing myself and I’d just like to say well done to the Marketing team and to the agency.

    • Elaine.lea@thomson.co.uk' Elaine @Thomson

      I’m pleased you like it Paul and thanks for the lovely feedback

  29. Bevtomo2@live.co.uk' Beverley Thompson

    Love “Simon the ogre advert”. Which Thompson hotel is shown on the advert? Thanks

    • Elaine.lea@thomson.co.uk' Elaine @Thomson

      Hi Beverley, Thanks for the feedback Beverley. This hotel is our Sensatori Hotel in Crete. If you’ve got any further questions please let me know.

  30. darrenkoneill@yahoo.co.uk' HarryO

    Last year Thomson ran the adverts with the family on the beach. It was filmed in a very dark sinister way and completely void of sunshine, foreboding skys and terrifying oceans, the kids being uncomfortably close with each other (which was then cut, probably due to complaints). Anyway the ads had an atmosphere of a supernatural horror movie. Now we have the ogre, which although executed very well sends the message that men are usually nasty angry beasts who are horrible to live with, so go on a Thomson holiday and change your piece of sh1t husband into a normal human being for a while. I don’t know if the same company conceived both campaigns, but my job has nothing to do with advertising but even I could create much better campaigns than these, I’ll even create a concept for free. Thomson has really lost the plot, whoever is in charge of leading these initiatives and or for signing off on them really should be able to see that they don’t work.

    • Elaine.lea@thomson.co.uk' Elaine @Thomson

      Hi Harry, Thanks for your comment and I’ll pass your feedback on.

    • Jcaukill@aol.com' Jan

      Agree with you HarryO! What a ridiculous ad! Can’t take Thomson seriously now!

    • daniel@ddavies678.orangehome.co.uk' Mr Dan

      At what point does it show an “angry” or “horrible to live with” husband?, to me it looks like an over worked man with little time for his family life which he craves? it’s about rejuvenation, the release of stress from everyday life and to get away from it all.
      I think your quite harsh in your judgement.

    • andrewkpike@gmail.com' Andrew James

      Do you work for the agency, Dan?

    • didinky@live.co.uk' Diane

      I agree totally. The ogre is not scary but sweet and disarming. The family dont look scared of him, they are clearly relaxed with him.

    • annieday@btinternet.com' Annie

      I thought the ad. was really sad, it tugged at my heart strings and really resonated with me. Working in a pressured job, by the time I get to my holiday, I feel like and look like Simone the Ogre! It takes a while to unwind, just in time to go back to work!

  31. janetpayne69@gmail.com' Jay

    Sorry Thomson but this not up to the standard we expect of your tv adverts, we think it is horrible and a waste of money.

    • janetpayne69@gmail.com' Jay

      My husband and I (sounds quite regal…….. Lol)

  32. Tebbie@gmail.com' Teri

    Love the new advert with Simon the ogre! The music is striking and I am sure I have hear it before but it is driving me mad trying to remember where. Can you share the name of the music? Thanks!

    • Stefan @Thomson

      It sounds similar to the One Republic song ‘Secrets’ Teri. I hope this helps.

    • Mark.Cavell@sonymusic.com' Mark Cavell

      Its actually from the group The Piano Guys. Its an arrangement of Beethioven 5th mixed with One Republic’s “Secrets”. its on their album The Piano Guys and has many similar style tunes. A Great listen

    • Tebbie@gmail.com' Teri

      everyone, I thought it was familiar, I have a cd by The Piano Guys and it is on ere, lol. So random because I think they are pretty obscure, lol.

    • Tebbie@gmail.com' Teri

      Thanks, I discovered I have it on my iPad by The Piano
      Guys, lol. So embarrassed that I didn’t realise where I had heard it, DOH, lol

  33. ablatherwick@gmail.com' Alex Blatherwick

    Good advert, what is the name of the music used?

    • Samantha.thorley@thomson.co.uk' Samantha @Thomson

      Thanks for your feedback, Alex. The music used is an orchestral cover of OneRepublic’s Secrets by The Piano Guys.

    • tonymay7@yahoo.co.uk' anthony

      not very often anything i see on tv gets me to comment on it but what a great advert some great creative minds behind this one,keep up the good work i think this one will catch the imagination of a lot of people,thanks tony

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