The Week in Focus: Nothing shocking in Gecko's approach

The Week in Focus: Nothing shocking in Gecko's approach
By admin

Crass, cheap and unnecessary or bold, brave and innovative?

Gecko's Adventures unveiled its new branding and marketing crusade this week with what it described as a "raw and real" approach.

For "raw and real", read bad language.

"May your heart be light, your step swift and your stories fucking epic" is Gecko's new slogan, to be used in marketing material and brochures. It's a strategy which management hope will make the brand stand out in a cluttered market.

Not so long ago, Tourism Australia adopted a similar tactic with a bikini-clad Lara Bingle strolling on a beach and asking tourists "where the bloody hell are you?" It was a disaster.

The use of "bloody", largely inoffensive in Australia and other western markets, went down spectacularly badly in Asia. It hugely misjudged its audience in the region who were offended at being sworn at. And while the campaign was noticed, it was noticed for the wrong reasons and promptly ditched at the earliest opportunity.

Gecko's, however, would appear to know its demographic. So before everyone derides the adventure operator for using "shock" tactics, just think for a moment of its target market.

My dear old mum would be mildly shocked if I went home and started effing and blinding – although she's not immune from using the odd expletive herself when the UK weather continues to disappoint – and in all likelihood she'd frown upon such language plasted across a holiday brochure. But it isn't aimed at her.

Seriously, is anyone in the age bracket being tapped by Gecko's going to be offended or shocked in the slightest by reading the phrase "fucking epic"? I very much doubt it.

Tourism Australia's campaign targeted pretty much every demographic going, so it was clearly likely to alienate some people.

But Gecko's is right when it says the demographic it chases use such profanities with almost gay abandon.

Right or wrong, offensive or not, bad language is common place and it is hypocritical for people to become offended and criticise it in a marketing campaign when these very same people are content to sit through a movie littered with swearing.

Opinion will probably be divided on Gecko's approach. I think it's fine. And the fact it has got people taking represents a degree of success in itself.



It would be too obvious a cliché to say the Dream has turned into a nightmare for Boeing, so I will resist.

But even in their worst nightmares, executives would not have envisaged aviation authorities around the world grounding the 787.

The aircraft will be out of operation for an unspecified period of time while a series of malfunctions relating to battery-related problems are investigated. Reports suggest it could be weeks before the 787 is airborne again.

Airlines are already seething at the delays to the Dreamliner with compensation for late delivery flying around like confetti. And while publicly backing the aircraft, Qantas and other carriers must be seriously concerned at the current predicament the 787 finds itself in. It has been a genuine case of one thing after another.

The late delivery has played havoc with airlines' operational plans, so Boeing and its customers must be praying to every God going that this is quickly resolved and the aircraft returns to the skies as the earliest.

Any protracted grounding will also play on the nerves and confidence of the travelling public. As with the A380 issues a while back, the public quickly forget so I don't believe the issues will create long term problem. But again, that is largely dependent on how quickly the confidence of aviation authorities is restored.





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