INTERESTING to see a call go out this week for Williamtown Airport to change its name in order to ‘‘expand brand awareness’’.
According to former Destination Port Stephens marketing manager Tars Bylhouwer, people from Sydney and Melbourne don’t know where Williamtown is. Can you believe that?
A change to Newcastle-Port Stephens Airport would increase comprehension of where the airport actually is, Tars said.
Unlike Williamtown, most Sydneysiders may have heard of Port Stephens. Melburnians, on the other hand, have no idea.
No official reason is offered as to why this is so, but the suspicion remains Victorians are not as smart as they dress.
They prove this every day by referring to any ball sport other than AFL as “rugby”, including hockey and golf.
Further confirmation came last weekend with AFL commentator Brian Taylor’s on-air remark about “poofters”. He then expanded his brand with an apology more insulting than the original remark.
Quite an achievement, given Thorpie was outing himself on another channel.
Talk about great timing.
And maybe it is time to change the airport name to something more identifiable, like Newcastle.
That might help ‘‘Bristles’’, as Taylor is known, get a grip on his orientation.
On the other hand, it could result in a spate of bookings to New Zealand.
You know – rugby union, rugby league/Newcastle, New Zealand – what’s the diff?
That’s the danger when you change a name to expand the brand – confusion – even if you’re not Victorian.
It reminds me of what happened when Super Rugby tried to expand its horizons.
The powers that be took away all reference to where the teams came from.
Hence NSW became the Waratahs, Queensland the Reds, Melbourne the Rebels and every other team across three continents, no idea.
A bit like Williamtown.
To those who thought rugby was non-comprehensible, rugby was now the game that was even harder to understand.
The finals are on this weekend and I’m not entirely sure who’s playing who from where.
Tonight the Brumbies play the Chiefs at Canberra, the key word here being “Canberra”, indicating that someone’s going to freeze their butt off.
It gets a little trickier tomorrow night when the Sharks take on the Highlanders at Durban. Anybody?
It helps knowing who’s in the brand if you’re trying to expand it.
Take the carbon tax, a brand that expanded in reverse faster than Brazil’s reputation as a soccer-playing nation this week.
It was a little hard to tell what was on the table. It was even harder working out what was under the table.
Tony Abbott kept telling us that the carbon tax added 9per cent to our power bills, was a $9billion handbrake on the economy and cost average Australian families $550 a year, so it had to go.
Treasury kept telling us only $250 of the $550 attributable to the carbon tax came from electricity and gas prices.
My head kept telling me these numbers, if I was reading the financial modelling right, came from ‘‘guessing’’.
Knowing what Clive Palmer would do next was anybody’s guess.
One moment he was telling us he didn’t believe in climate change.
The next he wheeled out Al Gore to announce the convenient truth that he did.
Then he backflipped on just about everything in a manner highly unlikely for a man his girth.
In the meantime, Bill Shorten just kept saying “unfair budget”, even when someone asks if he wants a cuppa. Confused?
Worse than Brian Taylor, who’s still trying to work out what he said wrong.
If you had to relate that to awareness of Williamtown Airport, you might say destination unknown.
Unless you’re the Chinese military, who probably have the RAAF base marked down for a first strike come Armageddon.
It’d be nicer if Chinese tourists came instead.
Wikipedia sums up the non-descriptness of the location when it describes Williamtown as ‘‘a rural suburb ... yada yada ... located on a main road’’.
And that’s being specific. If you wanted to go into detail, you might add ‘‘next to a paddock’’, ‘‘near the car parks’’.
We could sex it up by naming it after a local identity.
‘‘Macca International’’ has a ring to it.
Port Stephens mayor Bruce MacKenzie certainly has a reputation for getting projects off the ground.
Particularly his own.
What about the ‘‘Pat Wilson International’’? Named after the guardian angel volunteer at Williamtown who’s been carving out a reputation in the pages of the Herald saving airport visitors from parking fines.
Ultimately, I wouldn’t mind seeing ‘‘the airport that’s linked to Newcastle and the vineyards by rail’’.
That’d get me flying in for a visit.
Coincidently, it’s exactly what Tars Bylhouwer is calling for.