expedia and the kingdom of bad movie promotions

A friend of mine is getting married this summer and, of course, the wedding is going to be in a place, southern California in this case, that requires a flight. Not that I particularly mind, but I kinda do. It would be much more convenient if he were to just get married in Midtown Manhattan. Even southern Connecticut would work.

At any rate, I was poking around the travel sites and clicked over to Expedia where I saw this example of terrible creative:

Having heard the rumors about how difficult Lucasfilm and Harrison Ford are to work with, I can only hope that Expedia and their agency Wunderman were forced into the ridiculous silhouette image of Indiana Jones that looks like it was done by my sister using MS Paint.

But the creative is not the only complaint about this program.

I hate, hate, websites that have interrupters like this that pop up onto my screen. I know that there is a skip button, however by the time that it popped up I had already partially filled in the destination area on the left and the has to sit, irritated, while this crap played on the screen. It is the anti-utility and no amount of sweepstakes promotion will make me feel okay about the time lost to this.

Additionally, tying in to a movie like Indiana Jones is a really bad idea for Expedia:
1. Everyone is doing it. Kellogg’s, M&Ms, Snickers and Burger King are all partners and they are sure to outspend Expedia. If anything, consumers will think that your messaging is their messaging.

2. It won’t drive short-term volume because, so far, there is no way for consumers to find out that Expedia is involved with the movie than if they go to the Expedia site. At that point, a sweeps entry is unlikely to convince consumers to buy from them if their price isn’t comparable to, say, Travelocity.

3. The “Summer of Adventure” promotion is a nice theme that fits with a travel company, but it isn’t differentiating. Any travel company could say that, just like any company can tie in with this movie, just like this is a bad idea.

4. If it’s not a price promotion, people don’t care (at least online). People go to sites like Expedia to look for price deals, not for a chance to enter a sweeps. Yes, there are some travel deals that are on sale (including places like Montreal that have absolutely nothing to do with Indiana Jones), but with all the Indiana Jones messaging, that gets lost. If the goal is short-term sales, just tell me that it’s a huge summer sale. If the goal is branding, there are better and more differentiating ways to do it than throwing money at Indiana Jones and a washed-up Harrison Ford.

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One response to “expedia and the kingdom of bad movie promotions

  1. THis is the kind of Indiana Jones Adventures you might have with with EXPEDIA:

    Buy online a flight ticket (Not necessary to an exotic place)

    Find out that your EXPEDIA never book your flight

    Spend hours in the phone trying to fix the problem EXPEDIA generated.

    Buy another ticket to your destination using a “real travel agent”. (At this point you are afraid that other online travel sites like Orbitz, Priceline or Travelocity will do the same and you prefer to go to a real office, and arrange your flight)

    Trying to have your money back (The money EXPEDIA charged in your credit card for the flight they never arranged)

    Keep asking EXPEDIA to reimburse your money by phone and receive anything else but lies.

    Talk to different EXPEDIA representatives in Philippines

    Realize that EXPEDIA is trying to scam you.

    Create a website to alert people about the EXPEDIA scam (http://www.victimsofexpedia.com)

    Find out that EXPEDIA was cheating people (read a lot of complaint about EXPEDIA here: http://www.expedianews.com dating back from 2001)

    Find out that a nazi sympathizer claims he is working for EXPEDIA and make fun of a customer that apparently was cheated by EXPEDIA (Don’t miss this episode of the adventure, watch the picture of a guy who digitally put a picture of his head on the body of a Nazi officer who’s with Adolph Hitler: http://defineyourworld.wordpress.com/2007/09/18/expedias-finest-in-action/ )

    Receive insults from someone working apparently for People Support International (A company that promote themselves as service provider to EXPEDIA in Philippines) (I’ll put the whole story soon since I asked EXPEDIA and People Support International to confirm or deny that that guy work for them . No response so far)

    This adventure is not over. Come back soon for more exciting news about the kind of “Indiana Jones” adventures you can have with EXPEDIA. If you are looking for this kind of adventures. Go ahead book with EXPEDIA and have this fun
    The only thing that bothers me is that George Lucas agreed to make business with a scammer. I love his movies but this was a cheap , cheap, deal that Mr. Lucas didn’t need it.

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