Filed under: Context, Crap Campaigns In History, Crap Marketing Ideas From History!, Marketing Fail
So there’s a big debate in the UK at the moment about whether Heathrow airport or Gatwick should expand.
The reality is the UK is no longer equipped to handle the vast increase in air traffic and the implications of this could be vast and serious. Not just from an airport perspective, but from a national economic and a global influence perspective.
Obviously the competitiveness between Heathrow and Gatwick – the UK’s largest airports – is intense because the winner ensures they will become the predominant national airport for 30+ years, which is why Gatwick have been running a series of press ads highlighting the benefits of choosing them over their London cousin.
This is one of the ads:
Now I am sure this wasn’t their intention, but that ad basically says that the owners of Gatwick airport care more about the wellbeing of the people who live around Heathrow, than the ones on their doorstep.
Or in other words, ‘Don’t upset the 683,000 people who live near Heathrow – they’re nice, kind, happy folk – come ruin the lives of the 36,000 folk who live near us instead. They’re all unemployed scum and should consider themselves lucky having a roof over their head in the first place’.
Of course I am exaggerating the point to make the point, but if I was one of the Gatwick families who are potentially going to be affected by the expansion, I’d regard that ad as a massive slap in the face.
Or worse, a reason to come together and try to spoil their plans.
Will the vast majority of the population interpret that ad this way?
I would imagine they don’t give a damn which airport is expanded as long as it’s not near them, but this all goes to show that when you are trying to win favour – or convince the passively involved – it’s not purely a case of amassing a bunch of facts and data, it’s about understanding what you say, says as much about who you are as it does what you do … and purposefully ignoring the ‘human element’ to not open a potential can of worms may ultimately do the complete opposite.
And to think some people think ‘an ad’ is just about shoving some pictures & words on a page.
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