Predatory advertising

Iceland's volcanic eruption has spawned more than a few creative marketing ideas in a travel left devastated by its trail of ash including several that seek to thrive on the woes of others. A group of hotels in Britain is looking to cash in on the aviation sector's troubles with an advertising campaign that
could be termed as "predatory". The campaign essentially exhort consumers to stay away from flying!

Premier Inn, a division of Whitbread, the UK's largest hotel and restaurant company, along with National Express and Virgin Trains are 
preparing to took on British Airways as they geared up for strikes and
a continuation of the volcanic ash being belched from Iceland's eyjafjallajokull volcano.

Virgin Trains rolled out a' £6m ad push, attacking
the ‘hellishness' of other forms
of transport, showing people
transformed into ‘frustrated zombies' by traffic jams and queues at
airports. The company reported that a record number of airline customers have turned to its Trains, with a
250% increase in passengers travelling between Glasgow and London alone.

Premier Inn, which counts 578 budget hotels, has run ads that feature Lenny Henry, a British comedian of Jamaican origin. In a departure from previous campaigns, which have promoted
features of its hotels, the work seeks to convince consumers to take a
holiday at one of its UK outlets.

The head of marketing
at Premier Inn was quoted as saying that the flight disruption had been ‘beneficial' for his company's hotels and that it was its ‘biggest opportunity' to enlarge its already considerably slice of Britain's leisure
market.

Premier's efforts are neither new nor without precedent. Four years ago, in an effort that took on travel destinations and traveling, a New York magazine sought to push the benefits of the Big Apple and promoted the idea of a "staycation" by
encouraging people to spend their vacation exploring what the city has
to offer instead of leaving town.

Published by

Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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