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Bora Bora Is Blowing It: Missed Opportunities in Search Marketing

August 8, 2017

Bora Bora

This weekend, my wife and I rented and watched Couples Retreat on Blu-ray. The movie was pretty entertaining, and mildly funny, set on an "exotic island" (aka Bora Bora) at the "Eden Resort." Part of what made the movie entertaining was the great scenery, being shot on location in Bora Bora, and the attractive people having fun (or not) in a beautiful place. After we were through watching the movie, my wife and I started day-dreaming about taking a vacation to Bora Bora ourselves. This got me thinking about the search results that would come up for the fictional resort name used in the movie (get a life, I know).

As is common in movies, the names of the places used in Couples Retreat are fictional; however, this doesn't change the fact that when you show a beautiful place in a movie, it makes people want to go there. And when people want to find information about something they are interested in, they search.

The name of the resort used in the movie is "Eden Resort" - which is nice, but totally fake. When you do a search for "Eden Resort" on Google, this is what you get:

Google Results for Eden Resort

The first and second results both go to pages of a domain owned by Best Western for a hotel located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Now I've never been to Lancaster County, but I'm just gonna throw it out there and say that it's nothing like Bora Bora. The third result is a TripAdvisor listing for a resort in Sri Lanka, which is a little warmer, except that it's still halfway around the world if you're looking for a resort in Bora Bora. If you're a searcher looking for a warm vacation in Bora Bora because you just saw Couples Retreat, you won't even find a listing that has anything to do with Bora Bora on this SERP until position #7. If you even make it that far down the page, you'll find this:

Bora Bora Hotel

At this point, I would assume all interest would be lost and you would just book a Hawaiian vacation like everyone else.

What you were really looking for was the St. Regis Resort, which was the actual resort filmed in Couples Retreat. St. Regis, and every other resort in Bora Bora, has missed out on a huge opportunity to capture FREE traffic. I don't know how viewership is calculated, but Wikipedia reports the movie at a gross revenue of $168 million, which I would say qualifies it as a major motion picture, which means a TON of people saw it. After looking at the trend data for the search term "eden resort," it appears that a lot more people are searching for the resort shown in the movie after they see it, go figure.

Trend Data: “Eden Resort”

Google Trends Data

Terms like "eden resort," "eden beach," "eden beach resort," and "eden hotel" combined are receiving over 750,000 searches a month after this movie came out. This is serious traffic! Even if most movie-goers are just day-dreaming about a vacation to exotic Bora Bora, out of 750,000 people a month, more than 1 or 2 have real money to spend!

If I was the St. Regis Resort, as soon as I knew what they were re-titling my resort for the movie, I would have been all over making sure my site came up for that name on any sort of search engine, Twitter search, Facebook search, or anywhere someone who was going to see the movie might look.

It really amazes me how many missed opportunities there are everyday. What is your company missing out on?

Kenny Hyder is an Internet marketing consultant based out of Santa Barbara, CA. He has been helping businesses with their SEO and marketing strategies since 2004, and has had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest brands online including several Fortune 500’s. You can catch him on his main blog about Marketing, SEO, & Social Media or check out his new Awesome SEO Tools blog. He’s also pretty much always on Twitter.