Everyone is trying to get attention. Everyone. From the individual to the advertiser. With so much interuptions and vie for attention, to what extreme would one go to gain some eyeballs?
Air New Zealand seem to have the answer to this question. Their heads up initiative got thumbs up responses. When I first saw this ad, I secretly thought it was one most ingenius idea. "Head down to New Zealand" is a very very clever tagline to use with this gureilla marketing effort. It is simple, straight forward and requires some bravery from the volunteers. Participants are rewarded with free air tickets to New Zealand, which well, is icing on the cake and cost the company almost nothing. Most people really do this for the fun of it. Afterall, it fulfills the objective of gaining attention for both parties. The individual and the advertiser. Although it looks like it was not able to reach the mass on the ground, but this eye-catching act has created lots of good PR value, which ended up in global papers and guess where, the internet of course. I got the link of this article from the New York Times through Twitter via @karllong.
Definitely, I think this simple "human billboard" idea could look less glamourous and insignificant as compared to Australia's recent "Best Job In The World" campaign. But my my, these two pacific countries are going all their way out to create some hype. I'm impressed.
Marketing is really not about who has the most advertising dollar to spend. But rather, finding a channel that can most effectively send out the correct message and best fits the objective. Flashing giantic ads may create some awareness but probably not the excitement or urge to purchase. What advertising should really try to do here is to build a positive emotion on the consumer that will lead to action. All marketing efforts are redundant without a call for action.
This "human billboard" concept is fun, engaging and attention-seeking. As much as the creative people had fun conceptualizing about it, I'm sure the participants had as much fun being a part of it. After all, you can be assured they will continue to be an Air New Zealand customer for a long time ahead.