“What happens here, stays here” was the Las Vegas brand’s promise, and it was blatantly violated with the sale and subsequent publication of photos of U.K. Prince Harry and a female partner close to the climax of their game of strip billiards. The balls, as well as the billiard cues, were not visible in the photos, but a naked prince and lady were.
When a brand promise is violated, you’ll want to acknowledge this and declare corrective action. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority did it with an ad, in the format of a World War II propaganda poster, reading, “Keep Calm and Carry On Harry,” and a full-page ad in USA Today reading, “We are asking for a shun on these exploiters…. We will not play with them anymore.”
Another integral part of the Las Vegas brand is to keep it fun, so the campaign adhered to the spirit. By contrast, a few years previously, the LVCVA launched a “What Happens in Blank” TV spot. It was delivered with a satirical edge, apparently aiming to point out how inserting your own town’s name into the slogan will only highlight how your own town falls far short of Las Vegas by comparison. The ad may have produced hearty chuckles in some viewers, but it left a bitter aftertaste for many. The ad was too heavy-handed.
In your case, any apology and the announcement of corrective action might need to be relatively somber. The Las Vegas tag line is unlikely to be interpreted by anyone as a guarantee. However, if you’re making a guarantee, recognize it as a serious multi-part promise:
- What you are promising you will do
- The rules for deciding if you’ve kept that promise
- The remedies available to the customer if you fail to keep your promise
- How you will answer the customer’s questions about each of those three parts of the promise. The guarantee is one tool for projecting your marketing identity to your target customers. Use your explanation of the guarantee to project clearly.
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers
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Keep Up On Your Promises
Avoid Satire in Comparatives
Guarantee with Care
Bet on Consumers Wanting Turnkey Experiences