Monday, July 7, 2008

New Marketing for Zuji - can the Travel Guru and open the Beans

The above is a image of a real can of beans being used to promote the Travelocity owned in the Asia Pacific region. I am (again) late to comment (too much work and sick recently) but here are my thoughts on this.

Zuji is used to spending money on big marketing ideas and used to it not working. Back in 2003 Zuji burnt through cash in a bonfire of marketing activity not see since the pre April 2000 dotcom boom days. It looked like they bought out Sydney Airport with posters and paraphernalia everywhere. On television and radio they ran a very peculiar - almost psychedelic - series of campaigns around how the Zuji Travel Guru would help customers find the right price and right product. I have been (unsuccessfully) searching high and low for an online copy of the ad to show you as it cannot be described accurately in words. M&C Saatchi put together the piece under the tag line "your online travel guru". Even as a travel insider the ads made no sense - all I understood at the time was that a lot of money was being spent for no gain.

On Martin Kelly's Traveltrends I first read that Zuji was trying a different but no less weird marketing tack some 5 years after this less that successful TV effort. The new campaign is to promote the savings from Zuji's dynamic packaging through selling cheap consumables. First beans with toothpaste and toilet paper to come. You don't believe me. Here is the video. I had my mouth open in disbelief watching this campaign outline.

My tip to Zuji - this is not a good idea. It trivialises your brand by associating it with a basic food stuff. In addition you are asking consumers to make a complicated link between the beans and your product. Finally if you think somehow that this is working with beans for the love of marketing do not put your brand on a packet of toilet paper.

At least they are sticking to the famous marketing idiom "if at first you don't succeed spending millions on a Travel Guru idea, then spend more on FMCG". Oh - that's right there is no such idiom.

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