Over the last two months, I’ve seen more the-world-is-ending-so-you-better-take-advantage-of-our-sale promotions than I’ve ever seen before. I thought perhaps I was the only one who found these to be not only ineffective, but slightly offensive, until Lodging Hospitality Editor Ed Watkins recently sounded the alarm in one of the publication’s eblasts. From Economic Stimulus weekend getaways to TARP meeting offers, some hoteliers are utilizing the current economic meltdown as marketing tagline — and they’re not alone. The economy has been used as a marketing tool by some of the most unusual companies and segments. leaving the consumer to wonder if these companies really get it. Unemployment. Bankruptcies. Plummeting 401ks. New vacuum cleaner?
Ed wisely notes that value is an exceptional motivator in these times, but that all marketers should respect that this financial meltdown is painful and seemingly never-ending and so should be respected as the tragedy that it is.