May 25, 2006

Flying High with Omaha

On my way to 11 days on the Yucatan Penninsula, I stirred from my reading to notice an infomercial on United's in-flight network for Omaha. Yes, Omaha. I found it a bit strange; for one thing, I hadn't thought of the city as meriting advertising (sorry for the Left Coast chauvinism folks), but even more to the point, I hadn't imagined that they would be touting their city in the first place. Do municipalities actually recruit potential citizens? I guess so.

And this effort was particularly sophisticated, airing on a Denvir to Cancun flight, it contained some tight editing, nice visuals, and an impressive string of statistics and rankings showing Omaha as an up-and-coming player, so to speak. The campaign continued in the on-flight magazine, Horizons or Lattitudes or something, and they have a vanity URL for the whole effort, which I failed to jot down.

I see this as a way of "moving to the head of the demand chain," a concept I picked up from a fascinating post on Sviokla's Context (and one I'll be messing around with for the next few months). Actually, it's really extending the demand chain, something at which broadcast, whether public or contained, can really excel. There you are, just sitting there eating pretzels waiting for the captain to let you get up to go to the bathroom, and a nice looking little ad comes up for Omaha. Since you're on a plane, you don't have Tivo, so you watch. And just like that, the idea gets planted. You may mention it to a friend, blog about it, or visit the web site. To me, that's new marketing.

Anyway, it seems to me that this is a harbringer for future like efforts, now that the urban centers aren't necessary to conduct big-time business and most citites continue to give their inhabitants a raw deal when it comes to the infrastructure, schools and quality of life you get for paying hith taxes and dealing with crime.

I wouldn't consider Omaha on purpose, but if I were from the Midwest or less Left Coast centric, I just might. And that't the power of distributing a story.

1 comment:

EVK4 said...

Heck, Warren Buffett calls Omaha home, it can't be bad.