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Using “real” Australians in your advertising. RedBalloon vs. Qantas Frequent Flyer

This week I received marketing emails from RedBalloon and Qantas Frequent Flyer, each taking a similar approach of using “real” Australians to speak with customers in their own language.

In my opinion RedBalloon nailed it, and Qantas missed the mark, but lets look at each in turn.

RedBalloon – Who is Joel?

RedBalloon - 5 Minutes with Joel

RedBalloon - 5 Minutes with Joel

Upfront Redballoon introduces who Joel is, clearly stating that he works in the marketing team, and reveals that he doesn’t take himself too seriously (very Australian).

Joel's Top Ten

Joel's Top Ten

Based on the picture of Joel alone, you can believe that he would be the type that would like everything in his Top Ten.

Connect with Joel

Connect with Joel

At the base of the email, Redballoon provides ways to further engage with Joel, linking to his very funny blog post and a link to chat with Joel on Facebook (where he actually responds).

So overall, I think RedBalloon have done a great job of establishing a credible “real Australian” to communicate with their email customer base.

Qantas – Dave’s video guide to earning points

Daves Guide to Earning Frequent Flyer Points

Daves Guide to Earning Frequent Flyer Points

We’ve asked Dave to explain everything as simply as possible? Qantas, who is Dave? Sure he has a very Australian name but I don’t why he is a credible source of information.

But before we judge, lets check out the video.

Daves Video

Daves Video

Ummmm….Dave is clearly an actor, heavily scripted, wearing make up. Not very representative of the typical Australian ‘Dave’.

So sorry Qantas, I would have to say that Dave is a dud marketing ploy.

For mine, Redballoon wins this game.

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Categories: Advertising, branding, Digital Marketing, Facebook, Marketing Strategy

Author:Chris Maloney

Chris is a multi-channel marketing strategist and one of Australia's most awarded young marketers.

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10 Comments on “Using “real” Australians in your advertising. RedBalloon vs. Qantas Frequent Flyer”

  1. August 13, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Well said mate. Authenticity is key when you’re trying to promote anything, specially when that anything is the ability for your audience to relate to your brand.

    • August 16, 2010 at 7:20 am #

      Agreed Rubens…authenticity is essential in the social media age

  2. August 13, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    Thanks for the great post Chris.

    Naomi is great in how she has grown the company and runs her tribe.

    It is amazing how such mega companies continue to miss the mark and refuse to address the changing dynamics and needs of the modern consumer.

    There seems to be unfortunate correlation between size and rigidity.

    Having said that, this is where the opportunity rests for the innovative, agile small businesses. What do you think?

    Thanks again for the post.

    • August 16, 2010 at 7:24 am #

      Yeah Jay, Naomi and RedBalloon have done a really great job consistently delivering quality marketing.

      I am always fascinated by nimble small businesses, but I think it is more interesting when a large company can do it. As I used to say when I worked at the Commonwealth Bank, when the elephant can dance, all the ants have to leave the dancefloor.

      • August 16, 2010 at 7:46 am #

        Agreed. So how do we get more elephants to the party?

        • August 18, 2010 at 7:11 am #

          Get small nimble businesses to steal their market share, so they have to respond. Poke the bear, as they say.

          • August 20, 2010 at 8:26 am #

            sounds like a plan!

            But is it a bear or an elephant? šŸ˜‰

  3. August 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    Always great to get this kind of feedback – but there is one thing I need to disclose: I’m actually a Kiwi (but I’ll still take being a ‘real aussie’ as a compliment).

    We’re always looking for ways to stay real & personable with our customers. At first I chuckled when this newsletter was suggested to me but I couldnā€™t help but go along with it because I liked the idea myself (and a team of cheeky grinning teammates are impossible to say no to).

    We had some great conversations on Facebook as well – our customers are a lot of fun so it made the whole experience enjoyable.

    • August 16, 2010 at 7:27 am #

      A Kiwi! Well that changes everything. But lets be honest, with the number of Kiwi’s living in Australia we may as well call it the West Island and be done with it.

      Congratulations for having the balls to put yourself out there on behalf of your company mate, I love your work.

  4. andrew
    September 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    I think both work on different levels. One is an informational piece from Qantas, really one way communication, which works effectively and is a sales piece. The other is a conversational, social media piece, asking the cusomter to engage with the product and the celebrity. You can’t say one has missed the mark over the other as they’re entirely different pieces of communicaition.

    I guess the proof with be in the metrics at the end of the day.;

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