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Talk about entering the market with a bang. There is no doubt about it; there are heavy hitting strategic and tactical elements behind the Wow Airlines campaign. The color selection is interesting; purple is a fashionable color and can combat blue, yellow and orange in the short-term. This specific tint of purple is also noteworthy. It’s lighter than regal purple and incidentally matches that of the thistle. The problem with purple is that it tends to disappear when surrounded by more dominant colors (basically the primaries). That is one reason why international firms don’t use it.

Purple is the color of the amethyst, which in Greek means sober (i.e. the Greek word “amethystos” may be translated as “not drunken”; the Greek ‘a-‘ inverting the meaning of the word “methustos” which means intoxicated). Competitors could easily use that color against the airline through creative advertising. More on purple: The amethyst, Crayola color namesPurple in weddings

The overall web is clean, simple and warm yet looks a bit cheap. The first impression is good but once the customer engages more fully it begins to crack. The deal with Avis on the front page helps establish credibility. Then we have this weird image on the front page that makes both web and company appear comical (and who wants to fly with comedians?):

The text copy leaves much to be desired and gives the impression of a high school paper. Both Icelandic and English sections of the web are infected by grammatical and punctuation errors, flawed sentence structuring, word repetition, poor choice of words, lack of confidence and a wide variety of other problems that must be addressed. The About us section is far below par and makes me personally distrustful of the entire operation. A few examples:

For us security is number one, two, three and even four” sounds like something a teenager would say and makes no sense as it indicates that customer satisfaction and other important factors are ranked 5th or lower.

We are quite preoccupied …” is poor choice of words. Anyone preoccupied with a specific task may fail to keep an eye on other important aspects of an operation. The message is not delivered as effectively as it could be which is a major overall weakness of the web.

Our passengers are meant to feel the difference … ” and “Passengers are meant to be comfortable …” Meant, but are they or will they be? The two sentences also illustrate the tendency for repetition which indicates poor vocabulary. Rule #1 in marketing text copy: CONFIDENCE. A company that fails to gain consumer confidence will perish and WOW does not appear confident at all. ‘Meant’ is weak.

We also respect our customers’ time and mean to keep in mind that punctuality is a virtue.” Mean to keep in mind? This is the third time the word ‘meant‘ or ‘mean‘ is used in the same paragraph. Then we have the interesting fact that Iceland Express was recently bombarded with bad publicity regarding flight delays and here WOW waves punctuality like a flag. The company is not confident enough to say that it will be punctual, however, only that it ‘means‘ to keep punctuality in mind.

We intend to be the most economic choice for travellers and keep our competitors on their toes with aggressive competition.” Even the best intentions can fail. Again lack of confidence and customers that will pick up on although they may not realize it. ‘Intend’ is just as weak an ‘meant’.

An emphasis will be placed on flexibility and the willingness to please in order that our customers can always choose WOW.”  A prior sentence reads: “WOW air emphasises good service and a friendly manner by staff.” First, ‘An emphasis will be placed …” should be “Emphasis IS placed …”; second “… in order that our customers can always choose WOW” is utterly incomprehensible and also bad English. Logically, this sentence states that if WOW does not manage to put emphasis on “flexibility and the willingness to please“, its customers will not be able to select WOW. Proper English would be: “… in order FOR our customers to choose WOW“. Still, even in good English the outcome is weak.

 Come on WOW, you can do better than that. Get a professional copywriter.

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2 Comments

  1. Interesting post! The name “Wow” Air generally implies to me something a bit cheap and tacky, not something I look for in an airline. I’ll be sticking with good old Icelandair.

  2. Hi and thanks for the comment. This is exactly the impression I get as well. :o)

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