Another Wicked piece of marketing

I’ve written about this before, but once again I have to confess to a sneaking admiration for the PR and marketing expertise of John Webb and Wicked Campers.  

The company was in the headlines again last week when The Cairns Post reported some readers had complained about the more colourful slogans on its vehicles.

When contacted by the paper, Webb condemned the alleged slogans, pledged to investigate fully and repaint any offending vehicles, while blaming the problem on the activities of a rogue graffiti artist who had since been fired.

He assured The Cairns Post that Wicked was cleaning up its image and got in a nice plug for its new vans, tastefully decorated with indigenous artwork (see above).

All of this appeared alongside a photo of Cairns branch manager John Laughton posing next to a Wicked van, prominently displaying the company’s web address and telephone booking line.

Genius.

4 thoughts on “Another Wicked piece of marketing

  • July 12, 2010 at 1:13 pm
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    I agree with Martin. 95% of my friends have no connections to the backpacker market. They’ve all heard of Wicked and can quote at least one slogan. They also think we still own big green buses, so this stuff works.

    Reply
  • July 12, 2010 at 1:13 pm
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    I agree with Martin. 95% of my friends have no connections to the backpacker market. They’ve all heard of Wicked and can quote at least one slogan. They also think we still own big green buses, so this stuff works.

    Reply
  • July 15, 2010 at 11:07 am
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    It has been interesting following the comment trail on John and Wicked. I have followed his enviable success over several years and can only admire his achievements. He is one of the few Australian backpacking operators that can claim to have positioned his Australian brand globally. Love it or hate it his brand is targeted at the youth market who in the main love traveling in a brightly colored ‘cheekily’ painted van.

    As with many businesses with ‘edgy’ branding the more conservative cross section of the community will take offense – as an operator of John Webb’s ilk these conflicts are publicity gifts from heaven.

    For those who don’t now the man they should make an attempt to do so as there is a genius within and the hierarchy should invite John to guest speak and deliver what would be a very insightful presentation at the next conference!

    It is not hard to see he is responding to some criticism and is investing heavily in upgrading his fleet and livery profiles yet ensuring he maintains the successful formula that keeps his business afloat.

    He attends and supports most industry events, employs a significant amount of locals and backpackers and has sponsored many individuals in the pursuit of their dreams.

    Our industry needs characters and products like John and Wicked or we risk evolving into clinical commercially driven industry and away from our free spirited, fun seeking, roots that attracted us all to this industry in the first place.

    My hat goes off to John

    Reply
  • July 20, 2010 at 1:37 pm
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    It works for Marty too, as any story about Wicked usually rockets to the top of the ‘Most Discussed’ List. For mine the ‘story’ would be best discussed on the Ray Hadley show. What about those bloody refugees?

    PS, for those who might not get it……I have no issue with the boat arrivals. Storm in a tea cup, is my point.

    Reply

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