The ‘brilliant piece of advertising’ award this month goes to Thomson Holidays for absolutely

nailing it with their ever so uplifting ‘Simon the Ogre’ TV campaign.

When I was a relatively young man (I was once, you know) I enrolled myself on a series of courses at top London advertising agencies, such as Saatchi &?Saatchi, Ogilvy &?Mather, GGT etc. because I wanted to fully understand the working principles that make for compelling advertising.

Much of what we see in our newspapers, magazines and on TV simply makes us yawn – but not ‘Simon the Ogre’, which is top drawer.

I sometimes look at TV ads and think: ‘So this company chose to employ an agency, gave them a brief, the agency presented their work, and then the company signed off on this piece of shit???’

I’m often completely baffled by the frivolous nature in which thousands and even millions of pounds are seemingly completely wasted by not getting the message across.

Yet ‘Simon the Ogre’ is so compelling, telling a simple story which many a man (and woman) can completely relate to. In fact, it’s actually a beautiful piece of storytelling.

If you think it’s simple, then yes, it is. But simple is best IF it’s fresh and ingenious, which this particular Thomson campaign most certainly is.

You know me, readers: I do love a holiday – although I love an adventure even more. But the ‘Simon’ we see in his everyday life, with his humdrum job – it’s asking us: ‘Is this really Simon?’ (and we all know who Simon really is?) And that’s what’s so very good about it because when we’re on holiday we turn into ‘the best’ of ourselves that we can possibly be (or at least we ought to do, if you don’t simply go on holiday to ram endless litres of lager down your neck and lay on a beach all day long with a stinking hangover). And what Thomson are so cleverly showing us is that the conditions on their holidays are nigh on perfect for becoming ‘the best person you can possibly be’.

Which makes me wonder about the type of people I was rambling on about in my Editor’s Column on page 4 this month; do you think they ever go on holiday?

Well DO?you?

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