Again most of the promotion for Thomas Cook is done through Head Office the only promoting that the travel agent does is displaying brochures, window displays and phoning existing customers during quiet times to see if they have booked a holiday this year, if they haven't the member of staff will tell them about current offers available Advertising - Thomas Cook does this through the TV (mainly after Christmas), Magazines, Newspapers (both local and national), Internet, Billboards, banners at sporting events and football shirt sponsorship.
Thomas Cook had a TV advert on the screens in late December/January which is the most popular time to buy holidays. The tagline of the advert was "Our world revolves around you". The advert also showed customers there new price promise. If you find any Thomas Cook holiday cheaper the customer would get the holiday for free. However this advert was not seen very often on the television compared to Thomson and Airtours adverts, which means many potential customers did not know about the Thomas Cook price promise. Also at the moment two of the big four tour operators have adverts on the television which are seen frequently but there is no Thomas Cook advert on the television.
Thomas Cook advertises a lot through magazines and newspapers. One promotion from three years ago advertised the fact that they have good quality control over its hotels, beaches and gold courses. These advertisements have been produced to reassure consumers that they do check their products they provide. These adverts can be seen in appendix 3. Another advertising campaign that Thomas Cook did was on the London Underground.
It involved using all the picture boards that are on the walls that people will see when going up and down on the escalators. It would grab people's attention as its takes up the whole wall and people will read each poster wondering what company it is for. This can be seen in appendix 4. Thomas cook advertised their cruise deals in the Southampton Echo weekend magazine. This advertising campaign ran for 4 weeks in April and May 2006. The Newspaper Society then went on to interview 441 people about the advert. From the interviews it was calculated that the awareness of Thomas Cook had increased by 16% and intent to purchase following the advertisement had increased by 29%. The whole article can be seen in appendix 3.
Thomas Cook also sends out a email newsletter to people that signs up for this on the website. The newsletter shows what the latest offers are both in store and online. An example of a newsletter they send can be seen in appendix 7. Sales Promotions - The window displays at Thomas Cook travel agencies is a sales promotion. People will often stop and look at the window cards to see what offers are available, and if they see a good offer this will prompt them to walk into the travel agency and enquire about the deal in the window. The window display must be updated daily as the prices are always changing, or the holiday could no longer be available. At Thomas Cook in Huntingdon the window cards can now be printed off so this saves times as before they had to be hand written every day.
There is also a display in the window showing the latest air fares. These get changed weekly as the prices don't change as often as holidays do. The cheapest fare is shown in the window so restrictions may apply. Foreign Exchange also has a board in the window showing the exchange rates for the most popular currencies such as US Dollars and Euros. The board shows the buying rate and the selling rate. Publicity - As Thomas Cook is a large company its get its share off good and bad publicity. Appendix 5 is an article about Thomas Cook's first ever Celebrity Golf Challenge. It goes on to state that the event raised over 17,000 for charity. This is good publicity for Thomas Cook it shows the company in a good light and that they will help charities and go out their way to do this.
However when it comes to Thomas Cook for every good bit of publicity there is a ton of bad publicity. One article (appendix 6) that was in the Telegraph newspaper and on the website is about how a mother of two children who died whilst on holiday in Corfu with carbon monoxide poisoning holds Thomas Cook responsible. This was bad publicity for Thomas Cook and it made the headlines in all the national newspapers and was on the news. However Thomas Cook released a statement saying that the accommodation had been checked and that the case was unprecedented.
Finally another piece of bad publicity that was featured in the Sunderland Echo (appendix 8) is about a family suing Thomas Cook after their holiday to Cuba turned into a nightmare. The article states how the accommodation had dirty beds, the toilets were overflowing and the food was covered in flies. The article is all one sided and only talked to the family who went on holiday. Thomas Cook was not allowed to comment on the matter as legal proceedings were already under way.
The article however only made the local newspaper so it did not affect Thomas Cook when it came to bookings. Sponsorship - Thomas Cook sponsors Manchester City, so they get to have their name on the Manchester City shirts when they play a game. Thomas Cook is Manchester City's football club main sponsor. Because of this Thomas Cook provides holiday offers and discounts to the club's supporters. Thomas Cook also supports the first team with their travel requirements.
McDonalds Promotion - Thomas Cook have offered to donate prizes toward the McDonalds Monopoly promotion that is taking place in store at the moment. Thomas Cook has provided 1 million prizes off 100 off holiday per couple. The company has also provided 200 free holidays to Spain, Turkey, Greece and Brazil. By doing this they are likely to get more people to book with them if they have won 100 off a holiday. People that have won a free holiday may decide to travel with them again if they have had such a good time. It is also good publicity by donated prizes and offering people the chance to win a holiday.