TAP targets ‘ignorant Americans’
Portugal is being promoted as a stop-off destination for US travellers on the way to Spain, France and Italy, in a publicity campaign running in parts of the US.
Marketing expert, Ana Paula Cruz, commented, “…the Americans also have some ignorance regarding the European market,” and may confuse Portugal with Spain or not really know where the country is.
The “On the way to” campaign already has caused comment among Portuguese with Ana Paula Cruz, of the Portuguese Institute of Marketing Administration, acknowledging that, “It is natural that there is some controversy mainly because it hurts a certain national pride. Obviously we do not like to be seen as a place of passage, but a place of destination and we all know that Portugal has this potential.”
The airline said that the idea is to promote Portugal and TAP’s ‘Portugal Stopover’ programme that allows a stay in Lisbon or Porto on a medium or long-haul flight.
“Portugal your way to Spain / France / Italy” is running on 400 New York taxi tops and 800 billboards.
“It is intended to invite all those who do not have a scheduled trip to Portugal to book one, even if their final destination is Spain, Italy, France or any other European destination. The three countries mentioned in the campaign are those with the greatest potential for TAP from the United States,” stated an official but unnamed source at TAP.
“The screens in Times Square, TAP Portugal and Stopover being mentioned by US television broadcasters, the general press and the travel press, all have put Portugal on the list vacation destinations for Americans like never before,” added the spokesman.
Ana Paula Cruz said that the campaign above all is for Americans who are unaware of Europe.
“We cannot forget that the American market does not know Europe very well and, as we do not know Ohio and Massachusetts, but we know New York, the Americans also have some ignorance regarding the European market. Portugal is not known to many Americans and it is very common for them to associate it with Spain, when we talk about Portugal,” said the marketing professional, digging herself an even deeped hole.
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