Good Positioning (as bad)

The Hans Brinker Hotel

There was plenty of laughter in the Gasp offices when we discovered these ads for the Hans Brinker Hotel in Amsterdam.

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It’s worth emphasizing how very funny these ads are before we talk about them as a clever piece of positioning. They’re jolly funny. I particularly like these, which are more like well crafted one-liners.

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Its easy to see the value of being genuinely funny. Since 89% of ads go completely unnoticed, if you can make someone titter or even raise the tiniest hint of a smile, then you’ve already won over half the battle.

You could even argue that in the fight to simply get noticed, unfunny ads or even annoying ads are just as effective. This aggravating chump is a good example…

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Though as well as being genuinely funny, the Hans Brinker Hotel has clearly identified their customers and positioned themselves for them. Their customers are young people who are strongly price-driven and either backpacking or just in Amsterdam for a big piss up…or more. These ads in particular are clearly targeting that huge market in Amsterdam…

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The manager Tijmen Receveur said of the hotel’s customers: 

'They love our humour and sarcasm - and they have diminished their expectations to less than nothing.'

I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs how much I enjoy ads that are honest and don’t patronize the audience; the Hans Brinker Hotel has rightly made the assumption that the reader has at least a rudimentary grasp of irony, not to mention a sense of humor. And in that way they’ll identify with the hotel and the people running it.

The manager also insists that most guests are pleasantly surprised when they arrive.

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