Everything Old Is New Again—Or Maybe It Never Left In The First Place | Travel Research Online


Everything Old Is New Again—Or Maybe It Never Left In The First Place

On this Father’s Day weekend, I kind of felt like a kid again having discovered my father’s stash of Playboy magazines. A friend of mine had dug up some vintage issues and we spent some time laughing about the articles (that’s why we all read them…right?), the photos and how the definition of “risqué” has changed, and notably the advertisements—chock full of booze and cigarettes, and one notable ad for the Jamaica Playboy Club Hotel.

Some of you may recognize it as Sandals Ochi!

But as I read through the ad and began to think of how they sold travel (or any product) in the 60s, I realized that not a whole lot has changed. Thankfully fashions and materials have changed—and I am eternally thankful for not having to wear shorts like these….

But consider how marketing worked in 1965.

Young Demographic. They look for the younger audience with terms like “bachelor pad” and imagery to accompany it. Generally, today, we are looking for the younger market as well with some exceptions.

Develop Your Brand. No one can argue that Playboy was a pioneer in brand development. It is probably not a surprise that Sandals and Beaches have mastered that as well. Name a single bride that does not at some point mention a Sandals honeymoon—I dare you.  I wonder if there was some branding manual buried somewhere at the Playboy Club Hotel that Butch Stewart discovered.

Be Controversial. Again, Playboy was very edgy for its time. And today, most successful advertising campaigns tend to be controversial, albeit today’s travel industry seems to play it a little safe as we exit out of COVID. Except for Branson—he’s a maniac.

Develop Targets. Read through that Playboy Club Hotel ad and you know exactly who this ad is targeting—even if you didn’t know it was from a Playboy magazine. In the travel industry, we have talked about specialties and niches for decades. It is the same thing. Find your sweet spot and then target that demographic.

Society and technology may change, but people generally don’t. Marketing, to a large degree, is timeless. What worked 50 years ago is likely apt to work again tomorrow with a few tweaks, or at least it looks like it might, at least based on the current brochure! See?

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