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Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

Paying for the bathroom? This MUST be a jumbo jest!

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I think the airlines are going potty. As in “loopy.” These days, passengers are being charged extra for everything. (I think airlines should be charged with a few things, like passenger cruelty and first-degree bone-head-ism.)

For those of you who constantly quote scenes from old episodes of Seinfeld it’s time to cue the old “who are the marketing wizards who came up with that one?”  You’ve probably heard by now that some airlines have actually managed to think of ways to make flying even less pleasant than it already is. Spirit Air is planning to charge for each piece of carry-on luggage. Irritating. Annoying. But we’ll swallow the latest indignity eventually, I suppose.

But Ireland’s Ryanair is going Spirit one better with plans for an even more unthinkable, uh, revenue stream. Yup. It will soon charge passengers for using rest room facilities on the plane.

There are so many reasons this is a bad idea, I’m sure many are flashing through your head right now. Equally dumbfounding is the question of enforcement: will they station an attendant at each bathroom door to make sure no one holds it open for the next person? ( Ahhh, a long way from the “Fly Me” days, aren’t we?) Are you really going to tell the angry ex-Marine to just go back to his seat and hold it?

I am, however, happy about one thing; I can’t wait to see what Southwest does with this. You’ve seen the spot with baggage handlers baring their bellies painted with “bags fly free” to show up a more mercenary rival. Imagine the possibilities with THIS one! (And imagine Southwest being able to make fun of a rival for being “no frills!”)

In fact, let’s make a contest out of it. What message would you put on your airline’s outdoor board to promote the fact that your lavatories are still free? Send ’em in, or just comment below. I’ll award an inexpensive-but-appropriate prize for the suggestions I deem number one and number two. (Don’t worry – it won’t be one of those things – that’s gross.)

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Snooty “The Ladders” spot does the job for job-seekers.

In Ad Creative, The Marketing Microscope on April 1, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Marketing has changed a lot since the ‘Excuse me – would you have a little Grey Poupon?” days. For those of you too young to remember, that’s from a classic commercial attempting to class up the Grey Poupon image. For one thing, the general trend has been to make snobbery a little less fashionable. For another, the past few years of economic pain has managed to disqualify a great many of us as snobs.

But for certain products,  elitism still makes good sense.  One great example is a currently-airing  spot for The Ladders, an executive search and recruitment firm and Web site specializing in jobs paying $100,000 plus or more.  In the spot, two people playing a civil game of tennis are overwhelmed by “the great unwashed” pouring out of the stands and elbowing aside the original participants. The newcomers are made to look foolish, falling down, mishitting balls badly, and looking totally inept – clearly out of their depth.

The spot makes the obvious analogy, equating those people to the mob of mediocre job applicants who flood prospective employers with their inferior submissions, making it more difficult for your very qualified application to be noticed. Haughty? Demeaning? Yes. Exactly. And The Ladders doesn’t care one bit, since if you consider yourself among the demeaned, you have already disqualified yourself as a Ladders prospect. Perfect self-selection. If there’s any hope for you at all, you identify more with the original tennis players who are the victims here.

It may not be “nice” to disparage the rank-and-file job seeker in this manner. But Read the rest of this entry »