Posts Tagged ‘Air New Zealand’

This literally just arrived in my email, courtesy of a Virgin Australia Holidays marketing exercise.

Under the banner Sale into Summer – SALE into summer, geddit? – the email is offering holidays, including Vanuatu for $725 pp for 5 nights. Sounds like a good deal. Interestingly, though, the conditions for the holiday included this little gem. Which makes it an incredibly good deal.

Vanuatu Includes return airfares to Hamilton Island, baggage, 5 nights accommodation. Departs Brisbane, on sale until midnight 24 November, unless sold out prior, for travel between 05 November – 05 December 2013 and 02 February – 27 March 2014.

Flights to Hamilton Island included in all Vanuatu holidays. What a great promotion. I like Hamilton Island.

Quite why Virgin would include return airfares to Hamilton Island in their offer of a holiday to Vanuatu is beyond me, but it’s very generous. Much better than a free cocktail on arrival. I’ll take ten. Wonder if there’s a limit on how long you can keep the airfares in your back pocket for?

I note the email seems to have been prepared in Singapore by an organisation which appears to be called Planet 49 and/or “Vertical Response”. A cursory search online reveals they might be part of this global company.

I cannot help but wonder how hot their phone lines will be running after this little quality control issue is pointed out. Which they will be, just as soon as I get hold of the marketing manager at Virgin Australia Holidays and pipe up with “My name is Mr Wellthisiswhatithink, I’d like to go to Vanuatu please and I claim my free flights to Hamilton Island too.”

Tee hee.

Meanwhile we note in the media yesterday that Virgin Australia is raising $350 million from shareholders to reduce debt and provide cash for its new business strategy.

The airline will offer existing shareholders five new shares for every 14 that they currently hold, at a discounted price to their current market value.

“This capital raising is designed to enhance liquidity and the gearing position of Virgin Australia to ensure we are in a stronger position moving forward,” chief executive John Borghetti said in a statement on Thursday.

The airline has been restructuring its business, including an update of its technology, implementing a stronger passenger loyalty program, and increasing its access to global markets.

Our italics. Might we suggest as part of the effort that 10 additional cents worth of proof-reading wouldn’t go amiss either? Or should we ask why you don’t use an Australian company for your outbound email marketing …. hmmm? No, we couldn’t possibly do that.

For the dozens of other Advertising and Sub Editing F*** Ups we have spotted, just type F*** Up in the search box. And in particular don’t miss yesterday’s Social Media F*** Ups of all time.


I am always quick to puncture the innate pomposity of the advertising industry (in which I have skulked for 25 years), and its clients, so I should be equally quick to praise it – and them – when it – and they – do something so very right.

Inspired, on so many levels.

Firstly, because it respects the intelligence of its audience. I have always remarked during the safety demonstration on a plane “if you really need to know how to fasten a seat belt, you definitely need to get out more”.

Secondly, because it hilariously and cleverly leverages the worldwide impact of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies on the overall tourism profile of beautiful New Zealand.

Thirdly, because it is courageous. When will advertisers get it into their heads that people are never BORED into buying anything, whether it’s a tin of beans or watching a safety video?

Fourthly, because it’s genuinely funny and watchable again and again – thanks to the quality of both the production and, more unusually, the writing. I especially love the line about seat belts, “and not so tight as you lose the feeling in your legs”. The segue into how to adopt the brace position is also very clever.

As over nine and a half million people have already watched this little video, I really hope Air NZ think they’ve got value for money. Because I can pretty much guarantee that nine and a half million people now have a better opinion of the brand, and that’s a great return on investment – and money in the bank. Well done all concerned, including, by the way, the actors, who are charming: you can all be well proud.

Like the Dumb Ways To Die internet sensation from Metro Trains, (twelve million hits and counting, last time I looked), this is a superb example of commercial information being delivered about as well as it ever could be. Fair makes the blood of a tired old writer run hot, I can tells ya.

So God bless brave, smart clients who know how to brief an ad agency, not write the ads for them. And God bless companies whose decision-making processes are not so bureaucratically ossified that the marketing team can even get something like this through the structure. In fact, God bless companies who employ people with the guts and courage to put something like this up, and then empower them to back their own judgment.

Qantas? You there? Telstra? Optus? Myer? All of you, you know who you are.

Anyone? Hello?

Hellooooooo? (Voice echoes, and disappears into the void …)

I was once at a dinner where a well-known ad man from the UK (the guy who turned French Connection UK into FCUK) threw up a billboard on the screen and called it the riskiest ad he’d ever seen. We looked at it and looked at it with puzzled frowns – it was just a very basic airline ad. Then he turned to us and smiled: “That’s the riskiest ad you’ll ever see, because it risks never being noticed by anyone.”

Yup. Wot he said. Right there.