Air New Zealand’s Rico: Hot or Not?

October 21, 2010

Meet Rico.

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.

 

 


Dear Melbourne…

October 7, 2009

I you, really, I do. You are one of the most beautiful cities this world has to offer (Bias? Who, Me? Never!). You will always be home… BUT… and Melbourne, promise you wont hate on me, buttttt…

… I want to move to the U.S.A. on an E3 visa after my J1 visa expires and I’m done with the Disney International College Program.

Anyone know of any U.S. companies that sponsor E3 visas? Better yet… anyone want to employ me when I’m done? *cough* Marketing Travel/Tourism position *cough*

Pretty please?

LOVE this country

HOME: Melbourne, Australia

HOME: Melbourne, Australia



British lad, Ben Southall wins ‘Best Job in the World’.

May 6, 2009

British boy, Ben Southall has today been named the winner of Tourism Queensland’s ‘Best Job in the World‘ promotion.

The 34 year old charity fundraiser beat out 15 other finalists picked from a pool of 34,000 applicants from across the globe. The 15 finalists were all flown out to Hamilton Island at the end of April to prove to the judges why exactly they were ideal candidates for the biggest and most successful marketing stint ever produced within Australia (or the world for that matter!).

It cost about $1 million but generated close to that of $150 million in global coverage for the Great Barrier Reef.

As caretaker, Ben will live on Hamilton Island for six months, earn a $150,000 AU wage while exploring the surroundings of the region and share his experience with the world through means of online tools such as blogging.

Amongst all the excitement of today’s announcement, no one seemed to notice that a slight slip saw the winner’s name being published on the Tourism Queensland website half an hour before the official announcement was mad. The finalists however, were unaware of this minor malfunction and their reaction to the announcement was genuine and honest.


Southwest Airlines Fly High Above Their Competitors

February 4, 2009

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!

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES' DING! APPLICATIONDING! 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 AIRLINES TWITTER ACCOUNT

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.

NUTS ABOUT SOUTHWEST ONLING BLOGWhile 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.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES FACEBOOK FAN PAGECurrently, 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.