Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Should The Tourism Industry Spice-Up Promotion?

With Telecom's recent embarrassing promotional FAIL, it is interesting to to contemplate how far advertising campaigns in New Zealand can be pushed without attracting a public backlash. As Telecom found out, there is a fine line between funny and lame.  

In the travel industry, Air New Zealand leads the pack with marketing innovation but to be fair doesn't seem to have much competition with other tourism entities choosing safe, bland promotions. Air New Zealand's success is from reading the market well and taking risks with cheeky campaigns appropriately using different channels.

Air New Zealand may be top of their game, however there is another airline that is pushing the envelope further and generating free spin-off publicity. Low Cost Carrier Spirit Airlines in the United States is a company with a promotional team that must be on one continuous alcohol-fueled party.

Spirit Airlines have successfully promoted travel with many quirky promotions that includes the MILF campaign: Many Islands, Low Fares. The outing of Tiger Woods as a cad and womaniser was parodied with the  Eye of the Tiger sale. The public was invited to a "treesome" with an Arbor Day promotion and BP's oil spill was mocked with a flight promotion to the gulf beaches. Then there was the MUFF Diving campaign (ie: Many Unbelievably Fantastic Fares) and who could forget when Spirit urged their customers to "Go South for VD"on Valentine's Day.

My favourite campaign is the latest effort by Spirit Airlines that are using "strippermobiles" featuring bikini-clad women pole dancing on a moving truck behind flexi glass and being driven around Los Angeles with the words: “I’ll go both ways for $18”.

Something tells me that the Spirit Airlines campaigns wouldn't work in New Zealand - and that's kinda sad.

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