Thomas Cook combines product innovation and advertising in “game-changing” brief for Albion

Thomas Cook has brought its marketing and product innovation under one united brief, appointing Albion to handle the multi-million pound pan-European account.

The travel company selected Albion following a competitive pitch earlier this year and informed the agency of the win last week.

Albion is tasked with repositioning the Thomas Cook Group brand across Europe with briefs spanning both advertising and marketing tasks along with product innovation projects in the organisation's key markets.

“[Albion] went beyond the brief we set to propose a strategy that was forward-thinking and pointed our business in a direction we had yet to consider,” said Remo Masala, Thomas Cook’s chief marketing officer.

“We have really ambitious plans and Albion has the vision and digital experience to deliver on these goals.”

Thomas Cook is under greater pressure to stand out in a travel industry rapidly embracing technology. The likes of Airbnb have revolutionised how consumers think about travel, ranking among the most used apps in the sector, while airlines such as British Airways have been testing technologies such as iBeacons in a bid to elevate the customer experience.

In response, and in addition to the European account win, Albion is also working on a specific new product innovation project with Thomas Cook Group’s UK team, focusing on improving the travel operator’s end-to-end user experience and driving innovation within the business.

Speaking to The Drum, Albion co-founder and chief executive Jason Goodman, said winning the account marks a “game changing” moment for the agency. He added that the combination of marketing and product innovation is also indicative of a direction many clients are now looking to take.

“The leisure travel market is cutthroat and Thomas Cook Group has stood the test of time by paying attention to market changes and responding accordingly,” he added. “We’re thrilled to be working with them on pan-European projects that will help drive future growth for their business and deliver new ways to connect with customers.”

To service the account – which spans 14 counties – the agency will lean heavily on the investment made by Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners last year. Albion sold a majority stake to the MDC Partners-owned agency in a cash deal believed to be worth between £20m and £30m.

Albion recently opened an office in Shanghai. Thomas Cook also operates in China although the current brief does not yet extend to Chinese market.

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Jennifer Faull

Jen Faull is deputy news editor at The Drum with a remit to cover the latest developments in the retail and FMCG sectors. Based in London, she has interviewed major business figures including top marketers from Mondelez, Unilever, Tesco, and Lidl.

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