Marketing winners and losers: Pope Benedict XIV’s visit to the U.S.

Several of my friends, a bunch of my Scouts, and some of my readers are Catholic, so this has been an exciting week for many of them due to the Papal visit to America.

One of those friends does a great job of providing insight to lesser-known things Catholic, including stuff about Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to America. Things I wouldn’t normally know, perhaps even if I were Catholic. Last night, he told me something about tradition involving the Pope’s visits to other countries that really surprised me. It got me to looking around and I found a couple of related things to point out here (Imagine that).

Of course, there’s a marketing angle here…

piazza duomo in lecce - salento
photo credit: paolo màrgari

So here are the biggest marketing winners and losers from the Papal visit to America:

Losers: The U.S. airline industry. Including FlexJet (and every other fractional jet service), Bombardier, Gulfstream, Lear and any other luxury jet manufacturer, along with every U.S. airline.

Why? My friend tells me this:

Historically, the country that hosts the Pope has some airline that comes forward to bring him home. For this particular trip, no U.S. airline came forward. That’s pretty much unprecedented.

OK, so you’re a fractional jet service flying nice, luxury jets around and you happen to have one that isn’t doing much right now. Paint a big logo for your service on the side of it and take the Pope home. If nothing else, call yourself the official Return To The Vatican airline of the 2008 Papal visit, at least until someone says you can’t:) PS: Get lots of photos of the Pope with (and on) your plane. Oh…too late.

Folks, this was a public relations opportunity of a lifetime. Our entire airline industry missed it.

Winners: GoDaddy. While Bob Parsons’ video blog “Top 10 things the Pope should know about the Internet” might not make the evening news, it was a classic example of how to use the news in your marketing.

PS: If you’re Catholic and found this blog post because of a Google search, you might want to check out Ian’s Catholic goods store over at AquinasAndMore.com. It’s tough finding great small retailers. When you do, use em.