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Rico was born on a plane between two countries over the International Date Line on June 6th and June 7th of 1972. His mother and father were hippies and moved off the coast of Equador when Rico was only young and remained there for several years. In his later years, Rico went on to work at a travelling circus giving him the opportunity to see many places he’d never seen before. After tiring of the circus life, he tied himself to a small plane carrying coffee beans and landed in the USA, bright eyed and ready to begin his new life as the face of Air New Zealand.
Air New Zealand is at it again, this time with a new advertising campaign looking to be its most controversial yet – although in this instance, I’m not so sure being controversial is a bad thing. Rico made his debut in three commercials released last week to create awareness of the airlines new children’s storytime services and premium economy space seats on their 777-300 aircraft.
In two of the three commercials, Rico makes lewd, suggestive comments to fellow Air New Zealand passengers that strike up conversation with him. His thick Equadorian accent plays a part in the mispronunciation of words, in turn, giving them a double meaning: “All we need now is a nice Kiwi bitch (beach).”
In the second commercial titled “The Intimate Art of Touching”, Rico rips out one liners such as “You can lick the crack…” and “The screen is like a woman, and you must be gentle with her…put your finger here and touch her lightly…”
What’s even more impressive is that Rico has his own Facebook page. His interests are listed as “travelling to everywhere, meating the friend. Relapsing in nice place, writing the book and taking away photo.” Rico interacts with his 4,837 fans by engaging in wall conversations with them in a fun and flirtatious manner. Can we expect Rico to make a Twitter appearance? I definitely hope so.
Personally, I think these advertisements are a genius move by Air New Zealand. Yes, they are controversial, but being controversial isn’t necessarily a bad thing now, is it? Controversy generates interest and talk, whether it be via word of mouth, news or online communication platforms; all of which produce an increase in brand awareness and gain the attention and curiosity of the general public, or perhaps a whole new market that never previously considered Air New Zealand as their airline of choice.
Do you find Air New Zealand’s new advertising campaign offensive or funny? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
1 Comment | Airlines/Airfares, Social Media, Travel | Tagged: 777-300, Advertising, Air New Zealand, Aircraft, Campaign, Commercial, Controversy, Equador, Facebook, Happy Hour, Marketing, New Zealand, Plane, Rico, Social Media, The Intimate Art of Touching, Twitter | Permalink
Posted by Lynda
Where I’ve Been is one of the few Facebook applications that I’ve taken any interest to. It is a cleverly designed social networking tool for the travel industry and keen Facebook travellers and currently boasts a community in excess of 9 million.
I must admit that until today, Where I’ve Been served me mainly as a visual passport; I could easily highlight all the cities and countries I’ve visited on a map to show off to my Facebook friends. Although I do enjoy making friends jealous each time I land another country to my growing collection, today I decided to pay the application some much needed attention and was pleasantly surprised.
Steering away from the regular Maps & Passport tab of my Where I’ve Been Facebook application, I ventured two tabs across to Trivia. Trivia presents to you a Question of the Day where you are able to test your travel knowledge with a daily trivia question (as well as previous days questions). A correct answer will score you $20 virtual bucks, an incorrect answer only $1; accumulate these bad boys and you’re on your way to becoming a virtual do-gooder.
You can work backwards to cash in for prior days’ questions that you may have missed out on – this helps build up your virtual bucks account. The questions are fun and challenging and if you get one wrong, you are given the correct answer for your own personal reference – hey, this could be extremely handy for that next time you’re on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
Earned anywhere between $100 – $10,000? Great – you’re ready to take the next step in helping such organisations as World Land Trust, Relief International, World Food Programme, Seva Mandir, and Creating Hope International. Simply click on the bucks tab and select which organisation you’d like to contribute to. If the Purchase button is orange, you have enough funds to buy the highlighted cause.
Today alone I saved 1 square foot of rainforest and fed a child in Mali.
How did you spend your Sunday?
Leave a Comment » | Economy, Life, Social Media, Travel | Tagged: Application, Charity, Creating Hope International, Facebook, Facebook Application, Mali, Philanthropy, Rainforest, Relief International, Seva Mandir, Social Media, Social Networking, Travel, Travel Application, Travel Social Media, Trivia, Virtual Bucks, Where I've Been, Where I've Been Trivia, World, World Food Programme, World Land Trust | Permalink
Posted by Lynda
It often startles me with how little airline companies are embracing online communication tools to reach their target audience. With the recent incline and interests sparked through online blogging and the current likes of Facebook and Twitter, these online marketing mechanisms could prove powerful to an organizations ongoing success if adopted and applied effectively.
Southwest Airlines are one of the few airline organizations that embrace all forms of online communication mediums, also introducing their own innovative online marketing tool referred to as ‘DING!‘
DING! is a live desktop application that sits in the tray of your taskbar. Upon hearing a ‘ding‘ noise, exclusive airfares are delivered straight to you at heavily discounted prices. These discounts are not available any where other than through the application. You can customize DING! to deliver deals from ten airports of your choice.
With a mission to deliver the highest quality of service to its customers, Southwest implemented the use of Twitter to keep in contact with its followers. Twitter is a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices.
Southwest uses Twitter to respond to customer inquiries, announce any possible flight delays and promote new services and routes. If a customer tweets from an airport while experiencing difficulty with the airline, they are quick to receive a response from Southwest offering advice or a solution to their problem
Through Twitter, the airline is regularly posting photos allowing followers to gain a sense of the corporate culture that exists back at Southwest Headquarters in Texas.
While being known to serve nuts on board their flights, Southwest used a clever play on words when titling their online blog ‘Nuts About Southwest.’ Employees from all facets of the organization share their stories and work experiences giving avid readers some insight on what it is like to work for Southwest. A new blog is posted almost every day and the airline has also made use of video blogging. Polls are conducted and the latest Southwest news is shared.
One of the more common marketing tactics embraced by many organizations including Southwest Airlines is a fan page on Facebook. Facebook gives people and organizations the power to share, making the world more open and connected. Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, promote their company, upload unlimited photos and generate board discussions.
Currently, the Southwest fan page has 56,887 fans. Through this page, Southwest are able to communicate new offers and click-through promotions with their Facebook fans. There is a discussion board that generates an ample amount of conversation from fans. The Southwest marketing department who double as the page care-takers often respond to current discussions and the airlines employees are also encouraged to help contribute with any answers they can.
Fans are able to upload and share their Southwest photos to the Facebook page and the airline are able to post videos that may hold any value in promoting Southwest.
With Southwest embracing such innovative communication techniques at a time where people seem uncertain about traveling, it is no wonder that they recorded a December 2008 increase in revenue passenger miles, up 1.1 per cent from the 5.7billion RPMs flown in December of 2007.
In this unsteady economic climate, more airline organizations should be making use of these online communication tools to enhance their performance and try achieving the same results that Southwest has.
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