TUI unveils new positioning

LONDON - Travel business TUI is repositioning its Thomson and First Choice Holidays brands as it looks to encourage consumers to defy the downturn by booking a holiday for 2009.

Thomson will position itself as a tour operator for travellers seeking a hassle-free, indulgent holiday. First Choice, conversely, will ensure that future marketing appeals to young families and children.

The new positioning will be unveiled through two major through-the-line campaigns to break on 20 December.

Thomson will undergo a more vigorous rebrand, and its first TV ad for 18 months will attempt to communicate that the brand now provides enhanced, service-orientated holidays with all customer needs taken care of.

The ad, by Beattie, McGuinness and Bungay (BMB), begins with an empty studio space, before a succession of Thomson staff - including travel agents, reps and pilots - create the perfect beach scene.

Rather than promoting a specific destination or price offer, the ad ends with the strapline, ‘Every single detail, taken care of.'

From January the Thomson campaign will extend to incorporate print, digital and direct marketing. Following the high-profile failure or XL Leisure this year, the print ads focus on ATOL protection and the fact that holidaymakers are guaranteed financial protection while abroad.

First Choice will launch its own heavyweight TV campaign on 20 December. The campaign, also by BMB, includes print, direct mail, e-CRM and PR activity and depicts the range of swimming pools available when travelling with the tour operator.

The push will be supported by the sponsorship of GMTV's Travelogue broadcasts over New Year.

Media buying and planning for both the Thomson and First Choice campaigns is by MediaCom.

The repositioning has been overseen by TUI Travel customer director Tim Williamson, who stepped up from the position of marketing and product director in October.

In 2007, TUI AG merged with First Choice Holidays to form TUI Travel PLC, following the merger between UK rivals MyTravel and Thomas Cook.



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