News

Comment: Gecko's F-bomb achieved its goal

When Gecko’s repositioned its brand at the start of the year, it did so with one thing in mind. To get noticed.

In a congested adventure travel market, the operator developed what it described as a “raw and real” approach, with bad language as its centerpiece.

“May your heart be light, your step swift and your stories fucking epic”, its slogan read in a clear attempt to come across as young and cool, to resonate with its demographic and, perhaps more importantly, to get publicity and “cut through”.

I argued at the launch of the repositioning that there was nothing shocking with its use of the word “fucking”. It got noticed for sure, but how could it be described as shocking when the word is uttered on such a regular basis, not only by Gecko’s target market but in virtually every movie with an adult certificate, by comedians up and down the country, on chat shows and in novels.

Whatever the rights and wrongs, we have, to a point, become desensitised to bad language, be it the written or spoken word.

This week however, Intrepid managing director James Thornton told Travel Today the word will be dropped from its marketing after sales failed to take off. Visits to the Gecko’s website soared 35% we were told but that didn’t translate into bookings.

“It was great to draw some attention but I don’t think we need to swear to get our message across,” Thornton said.

After six months in the market, dropping the word is probably the correct decision. But not because it may have offended a few people but because its job had been done. The increase in web visits and the widespread coverage the repositioning got suggests that it did what it set out to achieve – to draw attention to the brand.

That the increase in interest and web visits failed to result in a bookings surge is surely not the fault of a slogan or strapline but something more fundamental, such as the product itself.

Gecko’s said at the launch of the slogan that its product would remain unchanged, a strange approach. No matter how clever, sophisticated or edgy a marketing campaign is, it is almost worthless without a product to back it up.

Gecko’s is now seeking to put that right by doubling its itineraries and increasing its departures.

Distribution is also being looked at as it seeks to increase sales.

It would also be unfair to compare this campaign with that of Tourism Australia’s ill-fated “where the bloody hell are you” messaging. That failed because it went down terribly in Asian markets who were offended at the use of a swear word.

Gecko’s target market on the other hand would not have been shocked or insulted at the use of bad language so the two are separate issues.

Tourism Australia has moved on since then. Gecko’s will do likewise.


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Comments are closed.

Cruise

“Abducted by luxurious pirates!” Crystal Cruises ship heads to Bahamas after US issues arrest warrant

The Crystal Symphony is channelling its inner OJ Simpson by running from the law. Unfortunately the cruise ship doesn’t have Al Cowlings by its side to keep it going.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

United Airlines flight turned back after passengers start a “riot”

These two unruly passengers decided “if I can’t have business class seats, then no one can have business class seats!”

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Scoot to resume Singapore-Gold Coast flights in February

Ready your wallets, because this may be one of the more expensive Valentine’s Days with a spontaneous venture to south-east Asia.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Travel workers stage national day of action urging politicians to introduce AFTA’s recovery package

Travel industry folk across the country are participating in a National Travel Day of Action outside the offices of key federal and state parliamentarians today to speak up about the industry’s unique struggle.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Club Med’s Pacific boss speak out against WA’s delayed reopening

The kings of the all-inclusive holidays have signalled their support for WA’s travel agent community, blowing a big raspberry in Premier McGowan’s direction.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

REVIEW: QT Melbourne is a luxury boutique with a rock ‘n’ roll mentality

by Ali Coulton

QT’s Melbourne property is the embodiment of everything we love about the Victorian capital – it’s both uber-chic and a little bit bad-ass.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas group cuts capacity after WA delays border reopening indefinitely

Aussie airlines are having to continuously lower expectations, announcing more cuts than a post-lockdown hair salon.

Share

CommentComments

News

ICAO Report says Ryanair bomb threat ‘deliberately false’

by James Harrison

The new report from ICAO has exposed a bold move of political repression by the Belarusian president, who allegedly orchestrated a bomb scare on a Ryanair flight.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent shines a light on cruising in a time of COVID

After two years of being denied her usual travel escapades, this Queensland-based travel agent had the opportunity to dust off her suitcase and give travellers confidence by sharing her experience.

Share

CommentComments

News

Entry restrictions eased for international travellers

by Ali Coulton

Those with a debilitating fear of having foreign objects wedged in their noses will be over the moon upon reading this recent announcement from the Minister of Health.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Fitzroy Island Resort gets million-dollar makeover as bounce-back anticipation grows

Queensland’s ultra-luxe island resort is about to get at least 60 per cent more lavish, by our reckoning. However, we made that stat up on the spot so best to just click here and see for yourself.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Journey Beyond Group Looks Beyond 2022 and Releases 2023 Season!

by Sponsored By Journey Beyond

Journey Beyond is going above and beyond to take you to infinity… and beyond. Or at least to 2023, a good start!

Share

CommentComments