There is a beautiful ad in today’s New York Times promoting Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic conservation tours. Linblad Expeiditons has a long, wonderful history of running for-profit expeditions and National Geographic has partnered with them to reap some of the financial benefits. This particular ad touts a conservation donation of $250 for trips taken to certain locations before June 30th. Exploration and Conservation are central to both headline and copy.
The problem with the ad is that the two pictures used to promote the expedition convey what are clearly dangerous situations. In one, a rubber raft filled with smiling, though concerned people sits in calm waters a few feet from a huge swimming whale. In the other picture, a young lad poses a la Ralph Lauren bathing suit ad next to a huge mature sea lion. This ad, running a few days after the much publicized and headlined story of the capsized Expedition ship Antarctica, is not a good branding building move.
To see the pictures from the ad check out the website http://www.expeditions.com/National_Geographic372.asp
The art directors and designers have done a good job trying to make the pictures look lush and exciting, but don’t expect any mothers or grandmothers to be booking these trips any time soon. Hee hee.