Irrational Marketing

Here in New Brunswick, Canada, everyone is bemoaning the sharp drop in tourism activity this year.  It is being attributed to the strong Canadian dollar, and, of course, the high price of gasoline.  What a crock.

If a potential tourist in, say, Connecticut, chooses not to take their vacation in Atlantic Canada; then the cost of fuel is not the real reason.  Think about it: of the hundreds of dollars they will spend on hotels, tourist attractions, food, ferries, tolls, and souvenirs; only a small fraction, say 10%, will be gas.  And gas only costs 20% more than it did a year ago.  So the total trip cost is only 2% more than it was in 2007.  (Not to mention that most people could save that much in fuel consumption by properly inflating their tires, maintaining a slower highway speed, and accelerating more gently…)  But people are still using it as an excuse, and as I’ve said before, perception is reality, so there you go.

What I like is that the government of New Brunswick is taking advantage  of people’s irrational reasoning on the topic.  They are promoting the concept of “staycations” – where New Brunswickers are encouraged to travel close to home, and spend their leisure dollars within the province’s borders.  I think this is brilliant, if a little devious.  It would be more “honest” to tell them the truth about how great the local attractions are, than to pander to their ridiculous emotional reaction to gas prices.  But you can’t blame them for picking the easy way.

Of course, this government has demonstrated its skill at marketing to people’s unreasonable beliefs before: they were elected on the promise that they would lower automobile insurance rates.  You might as well promise to lower the speed of light.

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Posted in General. Tags: , . 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Irrational Marketing”

  1. Josh Maxwell Says:

    Well said Great information, keep up the great work!

  2. Clayton Says:

    As residents of this province, we both know the real reason tourists don’t visit New Brunswick: Take a look outside… IT”S NEW BRUNSWICK: The ugliest province in the country, surrounded by a few of the most beautiful provinces (that are also some of the best marketed, while our tourism dept is hopelessly incompetent )

    NB is an unfortunate speed bump on the way to PEI or Nova Scotia. Still a crack tourism dept. like PEI’s, could go a long way to make a silk purse out of this sows ear of a province.

    Item #1: Find out who is (really) responsible for PEI’s great tourism campaigns and hire them away, pronto!

    Then find something a little more appealing to promote than Magnetic Hill and Lobster suppers. Magnetic Hill is laughable and Maine does a waaaay better job of doing Lobster (ie. Roadside Lobster Pounds).

    Hopewell Cape has been voted the number one Outdoor Photo Destination in Canada but we do nothing to promote it as such.

    Kouchibouguac National Park is all but forgotten under Fundy National Park’s shadow, but it’s arguably a much nicer spot, especially in the Fall and Winter.

    /end rant (for now)

  3. sbroox Says:

    Clayton, I see you’re all sunshine and butterflies, as usual, today. You reinforce my idea that “It would be more “honest” to tell them the truth about how great the local attractions are…” The trouble is that it’s HARD to do that. I agree that PEI and NS are doing much better at it, but the king is NL these days. Those TV spots rock. That’s the ad firm or ministry employee we should be stealing. Or you and me!

  4. Clayton Says:

    resume rant:

    We could steal the Japanese tourists away from PEI by opening karaoke Bars with Red-Headed strippers in Anne of Green Gables garb.

    Money in the bank.

  5. sbroox Says:

    I love it!


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