Tag: travel marketingView All Tags
On Saturday, after the catastrophic earthquake in Chile, places that might be in the path of a resulting tsunami battened down the hatches and awaited the waves. One of these places was Hawaii, which instead of having everyone run inside and pray that the wave would leave then high and dry, sent reporters to the beaches and trained livecams on the surf so that the world could watch for the tsunami, too.
Although a massive wave never arrived in favor of some tidal ebbing and flowing, what Hawaii did get were millions of eyes trained on its gorgeous beaches and water. People were excited; their heartrates went up as they eagerly watched the water rapidly rush out of Hilo Bay, like seen in the livecam capture above, and we couldn't help but think what priceless tourism marketing this is for Hawaii. And we weren't alone:
We get a lot of uninspired "it's about time to visit XXXX" pitches here at Jaunted, so don't be surprised that we got excited when we came across a recent tourism board campaign that we actually like. And we definitely like Visit PA's latest campaign, which many of you have surely already seen, although you may not realize it.
Peter Arthur Stories is a web TV series that has been advertised all over the NYC subways recently, but the ads don't tell you much until you visit the website, where you can tune in to watch the protagonist, Peter Arthur (PA, get it?), as he journeys all across the state of Pennsylvania in search of his long-lost love, a waitress who once served him the best piece of shoo-fly pie in the world. As you might imagine, Peter stumbles into plenty of tourist traps along the way, from civil war reenactments at Gettysburg to football games at Penn State.
Hey look. Here's a huge can of worms. Let's open it. I wouldn't normally think this would be such a hot topic, but it seems that frequent cruisers have some extremely strong opinions on the recent "Royal Champions" kerfuffle, while the companies involved remain defiant that they didn't do anything wrong.
A detailed summary of the back story can be found in the links below, but the gist of it is that community website Cruise Critic (which is ultimately owned by Expedia) contacted between 50 and 75 enthusiastic and prolific message-board posters on behalf of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, who "engaged" these Royal Champions with the same kind of access usually reserved for the traditional, clearly-identified media, namely, free pre-inaugural cruises and sneak-peeks of new products and services. Unlike members of the traditional media, however, the Royal Champions were under no obligation to identify their involvement with the company as they posted their (mostly positive) reviews on message boards.
No surprise here: Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has a viral infection. For once, however, it's not the Norovirus but that new-fangled byproduct of Web 2.0, the viral marketing infiltration. According to Consumerist, a group of fifty "Royal Champions" was outed by their own creator, the Customer Insight Group, as being a successful project whereby frequent positive cruise commenting on sites such as CruiseCritic was rewarded with free cruises and other perks.
So what's the big deal? Well, it seems that the "Royal Champions" weren't always up front about their status as compensated reviewers, effectively misleading readers of CruiseCritic forums with their positive comments. Add to this the fact that CruiseCritic admins assisted Royal Caribbean in choosing the fifty, with one of the stipulations being quantity of posts, "with many having over 10,000 message board posts on various Royal Caribbean topics." From here, the hole just gets deeper.
We declared the American Airlines blog "officially dead" back in June, but at least earlier this summer the archives were still available. Now a UK blogger who follows online media and public relations reports that "AA Conversation" has been completely yanked from Blogger:
I've previously mentioned how I was unsure if the American Airlines [site] was either an awful blog or a parody. ... Was this stopped by the person blogging, perhaps beacuse it was realised [he was] doing a bad job of it?
We'd say yes! But it's not for a lack of trying on the part of AA's Billy Sanez, who wrote the blog posts. We pin the embarrassment on management, which was too busy cooking up frequent flier program cuts and merger schemes to fund a blog that would generate tons of free goodwill for a carrier that desperately needs it.
After the horrible first few days that spawned YouTube videos and Flash games, it seems the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow is finally starting to function like your average airport terminal. So what's the play for British Airways? Hype that mediocrity in some new ads!
The campaign involves photos of real passengers using T5 combined with reasonable statistics that explain how "Terminal 5 is working." Among the ho-hum stats featured: "Yesterday at T5 average time through check-in was 8.5 minutes."
The airline is also posting the snaps on its T5 website. We're waiting to see if the carrier posts a photo of passengers crying over lost luggage: BA still mishandles an average of nine bags per jumbo jet flight.
· BA Launches New Heathrow T5 Campaign [UK Travel Weekly]
· First-Person Airport Review: So Is T5 Really That Bad? [Jaunted]
[Photo: Travel Weekly]
Twitter, the oft-busted-but-still-fun microblogging platform, is quickly becoming the go-to place for airline news from tech-savvy carriers. Latest example? Southwest Airlines' mysterious tweet about a big announcement coming later today.
Says the LCC:
Twitter followers should know first! Big announcement on www.blogsouthwest.com in about an hour....consider yourselves informed!
The last big Southwest announcement we remember from Twitter was about Monster energy drinks. Here's hoping this one's a bit more interesting!
Update: It is more interesting. The airline is looking for a "blog-o-spondent" for Nuts about Southwest.
Are you on Twitter? You should follow us!
· Southwest's Mystery Tweet [Twitter]
· Travel Marketing: SWA Loves the Twitter [Jaunted]
· Virgin America Social Media Site Launched Via Second Social Media Site [Jaunted]
Travel Marketing / Travel Blogs / Blogs / WiFi / → All Tags
Wireless access provider Boingo already has a Twitter account, a Facebook page and a LinkedIn profile. So it's only natural that the company would start a blog--called "The Hotspot"--to further its web presence. Being an internet provider, Boingo might even have the smarts to keep it going and make it a worthwhile read.
CEO Dave Hagan penned the first post:
That's what this blog is all about: It's about the Boingo community sharing the highs and lows of life on the road. It's about finding a "hot spot" in your destination city, that cool hidden gem that fellow travelers can appreciate.
But even an internet savvy company may not be ready for brilliant comments like this:
· The Hotspot [Official Site]
· Southwest Airlines Is Taking Over the Internet [Jaunted]
· Virgin America Social Media Site Launched Via Second Social Media Site [Jaunted]
· Travel Blogs coverage [Jaunted]
Virgin America apparently doesn't have enough going on with constant fare sales and giving away trips to space. So the carrier has launched the Virgin America Community--and as you can see, the airline made the announcement via Twitter.
So far it looks like VA is simply soliciting info from fliers; as far as we can tell, you can't yet see what other folks have written in.
Three general conversation topics are listed: Essential Guide To... (tips and recommendations in Virgin-served cities), Notes from the Cabin (wacky tales of in-flight experiences) and Mind of a Traveler (stories from the road). There's even a place to add photos and videos, for you multimedia-crazed citizen journalists. Who knows, maybe the best of the best will end up on RED next to Boing Boing TV and Diggnation.
Southwest Airlines has just released yet another YouTube video, and this one's all about summer travel tips. You probably aren't gonna see anything here that you don't already know, but the clip does remind us that the LCC doesn't charge for checked bags.
Southwest worked with the Fort Worth comedy troupe Curtis Needs a Ride to make this video, which we'll admit is mildly entertaining. Our favorite part? When Southwest's very own Christi Day announces that she carries both a work phone and a "pleasure phone." Also: She flies with a Wii!
Apparently British Airways wasn't fazed by American Airlines' languishing social media experiment. The carrier has just launched MetroTwin, a site--still in private beta--about travel to and from London and New York.
The idea is to give people flying between the two cities ideas of what to do once they arrive:
Ultimately we want everything on the site to have a "twin," whether it be a place, a neighborhood or a person. So if you like this restaurant in New York, you'll like this one in London. That just feels potentially really useful and different.
So far it looks pretty similar to the user recommendations you get in Dopplr--but limited to only two cities. Will Paris be next now that BA has snatched up L'Avion?
Two months ago, American Airlines launched a blog. Sort of.
We're now declaring it officially dead, after two full months of dormancy. (Save one minor update to fix a typo.) Not exactly what we'd call an impressive move into web-centric public relations.
The real question now is why the blog is still online. Does American want to remind people how it canceled more than 1,000 flights in one week this April? Does the airline aspire to look like a bumbling relic from the 20th century? Our free advice to AA: Delete this Blogger account immediately!