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Social Listening


If you've seen the news recently, then you're aware of the incident involving United Airlines and the passenger removal. If not, you can read the article here. This incident caused major outrage on social media and started a discussion on the rights of the passenger for airline flights.

First off, United Airlines has not been known for being the top aviation company in the United States; Alaska Airlines usually takes the number one spot. Although United offers more than just international flights, I would say their value proposition lies closely around being the best at international travel. Because of this, they have built a reputation for being a good brand when it comes to long distance flight. But what people associated with their brand quickly changed when a forced removal of a passenger on their flight was recorded and went viral.

Almost immediately, Twitter was blowing up with the new hashtag #newunitedairlinesmotto, mocking how the airline's slogan, "Fly the Friendly Skies," didn't really fit anymore. Also, people on Facebook, as well as other media platforms, were discussing the rights they had as passengers and if United was out-of-line for their actions. Lastly, people on all platforms were boycotting and advocating severe dislike for the airline for how they treated the passenger.

The marketing implications of this incident were huge. Their stock price took a massive hit, $1.4 billion to be exact, as you can see here. Also, as evident from the social media reaction, almost everyone has lost most, if not all, of their trust in United Airlines. Unfortunately, this effect has also trickled over to other airlines, who now serve passengers with a predisposition of distrust.

If I was the brand manager, I would do three things. First, I would make it very public that the company was apologetic for the actions that caused the incident and would make it known we are trying to create reparations with the passenger. Secondly, I would drop the prices of future flights to try to entice people to still use our service. Lastly, I would advertise that we have changed our policy to prevent this situation from happening again, such as raising the maximum amount of money the airline can offer to bump a passenger. With those implications, I hope that eventually the public would forgive the company and slowly business would return the normal.

TOPIC TWO: MARKETING IN THE NEWS -- Warner Bros. Wonder Woman

As a nerd and comic book fan, I am always hyped for the next superhero movie to come out. Although Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is being released in May of this year, that's not the movie many marketers are focused on. DC's Wonder Woman film, being released in June by Warner Bros. studios, has many editorials buzzing about the marketing campaign the film plans to use. This article from Forbes talks about how marketers are hoping they don't let fans down.

The article explains that so far, there has not been nearly as much buzz as other comic book movies have had shortly before the release date. They continue, though, to say that it may be a good thing. They use the example of Sony's The Amazing Spiderman campaigns and how they revealed so much before the movie hit theaters that many people could "already create an abridged script of the whole film." So the writers of this article are hoping that the marketers for the Wonder Woman film will advertise enough to get buzz about the movie, but not too much to spoil it.

This film's marketing challenge is to get people talking about the movie, without revealing too much of the movie itself. If they show too much in clips and trailers, movie goers will not want to see it because they feel they already have. But if they do not show enough of the movie, then fans will have no interest of tease to see the how the rest of the film pans out. So the film's team has to find the magic amount of buzz with the magic amount of film release. How do they do this? Using the actors to create buzz. The article talks about having them go on talk shows, like The Late Show, and hype people up for the movie. This will create buzz and attract people to the movie without actually showing the movie.

The movie's value proposition would be to inspire and entertain. Since the movie portrays famous feminist figure and has a female director, many fans are hoping is stays true to its roots.

From this article I learned that there is a right amount of exposure a brand or company can have. Not enough exposure and no one can recall who you are or what you do. Too much exposure and you may deter customers by being deemed annoying. I feel Seth Godin, author of The Purple Cow, would agree with those findings.


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