February 8, 2013 — For decades I’ve attempted to come up with an approach that could be developed that would improve the huge negative impression we’ve left in the minds of millions of non-owner consumers’ minds. Yet with each idea, once I thought the process through to its logical end it didn’t ‘cut the mustard’. Not, that is, until around midnight one day last week.
So here’s the scoop. My idea isn’t original; in fact it has been going on in the USA and around the world in most ‘Western’ consumer markets for generations. Untold millions of families eagerly participate in this activity as often as 5 times each week (per household), up to 52 weeks per year and they absolutely adore doing so!
In fact this idea is so damn popular with the public that if there is just one (1) timeshare developer/entity out there who can pull back & away from the grind for a moment, ponder the possibilities and think of ways to git ‘er done, that developer would make even more ungodly amounts of moola and do so, at the end of the day, by utilizing OPM (Other People’s Money) and never risking a cent.
And so without further ado this is exactly what needs to be done in our industry to greatly improve our image. What we need is our own Prime Time TV Game Show such as; Wheel Of Fortune – Family Feud – The Price Is Right – Hollywood Squares – Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Jeopardy – Let’s Make A Deal – $25,000 Pyramid – Password – The Newlywed Game – Truth Or Consequences, etc.
There, I said it and I’m glad I did! And if that notion went over anyone’s head then keep in mind that each of the aforementioned game shows mostly ran (and still do) for decades!
Plus there was (and is) no shortage of major US corporations willing to sponsor these types of shows by investing hundreds of millions of dollars each year on their ads so they can get into consumers’ homes each day/night via the square box to hawk their brands, wares, goods and services.
And the icing on the cake is that our industry is already involved in one of the most POPULAR venues in the free world which is, hold on Betsy and Bubba, Travel and Tourism.
And with that as the theme to the Show we already have a “googolplex” (a very large number) sized national audience built in and biting at the bit, so to speak, who will watch.
Now stop right here Pilgrims. I’m not talking about ‘tour generation’ being the primary reason behind the ‘Show’ so for now get that out of your mindset and tell your lawyers to as well.
Yes, in time that ‘might’ be a component but straight out the chute we’re talking about improving our image, getting into millions of homes around the country each day/night and of course the timeshare developer who makes this all happen earning a whole bunch of money as well!
As for the naysayers reading this let me also remind you of a little entity that a popular airline company of the day known as TWA (Trans World Airways) started in 1987 when they launched a TV network called “The Travel Channel”. Their stated aim was to follow the mold of home-shopping channels, but it was to include travel information and entertainment programming, discount travel offers and sale of travel-related merchandise.
Years later that became the very popular and highly successful The Travel Channel we know today. Ownership of the network went through several hands, ending up with Cox Communications as a parent until 2010 when Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. paid Cox $1.1 Billion (that is with a ‘B’) in an all cash transaction for a controlling interest (65%).
Now, with all ‘that’ out of the way let’s get back to our TV Game Show for a moment and the format that could apply. In a nutshell we would follow the already proven ones from the Shows I’ve mentioned except that it would be, as previously suggested, of a ‘travel/vacationing’ nature.
We could have the weekly/nightly grand prize be up to (e.g.) $100,000 CASH; or an all expense paid cruise around the world for the entire family and/or maybe a fully paid vacation home for a family of 6 to use such as a four week ‘interval’ each year for 10 years in (e.g.) Hawaii, California, Mexico, the Caribbean, etc.
There is a plethora of ‘prize ideas’ that could be given away (and paid for by the sponsors) that would surely excite the viewing audience so just let your minds ‘roll’ on that for awhile to titillate your senses. Lesser prizes could include such things as luggage, iPods, anything travel/vacation related. You get the idea.
And nearly anything and everything relative to travel/vacationing including cultures, cuisine, history, demographics, geography, art, folklore, shopping, cruising, customs, indigenous peoples, politics and so forth could be mixed into the format, too.
The Game Show could be as simple as the “Family Feud” show as the host asks the opening question: ‘Top seven answers are on the board. One hundred Married Women were asked where they want to go on their next vacation’. BUZZ! as a very excited contestant number 2, after hitting the buzzer, screams out, BARBADOS!
All it would take to get this puppy rolling is for one timeshare developer (or a co-op of ‘em) to put together a team of ‘thinkers’ and ‘suits’ to come up with the ‘plan’ and then with a modest investment go sell it to the Hollywood and/or New York TV Show elite ‘power-player types’ who would buy in and then bring it all together!
They, of course, would do the ‘heavy lifting’ and before you know it major Corporate sponsors would be flipping the bill as millions and millions of $$$ poured into the coffers from ad revenue.
And of course with the program airing ‘nightly’ in prime time & families around the nation sitting in their living rooms & tuned in to watch (and win on), our industry’s image would be getting some long overdue positive exposure as the announcer tells the viewing audience that ‘It’s time for Endless Vacations’! (Oops, doubt if that ‘Endless Vacations’ could be used but you get the idea.).
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