Friday, December 26, 2008

Solutions for Problems that Don’t Exist?

The French government has unveiled a new logo and brand message (see below). As marketing/branding consultants, we actually like the image. But is it really necessary? France has been the world’s top tourist destination for the last 15 years.

The Pittsburgh airport authority will spend $600,000 over the next two years promoting a new Delta Pittsburgh-to-Paris flight. This is in addition to up to $9 million in revenue guarantees to Delta if the flight’s load factors don’t meet certain estimates. If real demand for the service isn’t there, no amount of money will help when the revenue guarantees run out.

We’re all for being as environmentally friendly as possible, but the news that Discover is now producing some credit cards with biodegradable plastic just seems odd. We applaud Discover for this move, but was there really a demand for this? Landfills will be just as full and just as massive, no matter what type of credit-card debris is dumped into them. Aren’t there other environmental initiatives that Discover might have taken that produce more benefits to the world?

The TSA announced expansion of its “popular” Family Lanes at security checkpoints to every airport in the nation, saying this will “allow families, individuals unfamiliar with air travel procedures and travelers with special needs to go through security at their own pace.” This is about as useful as saying “if you don’t drive very well, stay in the slow lane on the freeway,” or “if you’re a beginner skier, stay off the black runs.” Every Texan skier in the universe thinks they’re a black-diamond skier. Do we think travelers are any different?