Bora Bora Is Blowing It: Missed Opportunities in Search Marketing


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.

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Marjory Meechan
Mar 02, 2010

This is such a simple (but great) idea and it goes beyond the movies. Keeping your ears to the ground to determine how people are referring to you is going to pay off with keyword targeting. Thanks again for a great post guys. Always a please.

Elisa Gabbert
Mar 02, 2010

Thanks, Marjy!

Richard Kraneis
Mar 02, 2010

When Online Opportunity meets Corporate Structure

Kenny Hyder made us all shake our heads. How could St. Regis Resort have made such an online marketing mistake? But all of reading this blog knew we had made our own online marketing mistakes along the way...

The in-depth story would be asking St. Regis Resort management how their huge online marketing opportunity was squandered. Or perhaps, their top level executives wouldn't acknowledge an opportunity lost?

As the CEO of St. Regis Resort learns about this blog article from a phone call, he or she might stroll down the hallway looking for the Director of Marketing. Will the CEO be polite, or a little surly? After all, what did all of top level management at St. Regis Resort discuss in their meetings on how to maximize their movie exposure in "Eden's Retreat"? Were they all involved in under utilizing a marketing goldmine?

How will St. Regis Resort upper management respond to this marketing opportunity? It still is an opportunity, isn't it? How would your company respond under a marketing crisis?

Will there be intransigence, firings, or adaptation?

Intransigence: Management under stress can hunker down and wait for bad publicity to dissipate. Everything happened as planned. There was no problem.

Firings: Sadly, this is an alternative in crisis. (I wouldn't want to be fired from Paradise.)

Adaptation: The company missed a huge opportunity. But as of today according to Aaron Wall's keyword suggestion tool, Couples Retreat had 1578 + 529 searches on the internet yesterday. There are still online marketing opportunities for the company.

Kenny Hyder was correct. Bora Bora blew it.

The real question remains. When the marketing spotlight is on one of your company's mistakes, how will your company respond?

Mar 02, 2010

Totally. I am constantly surprised how large companies with huge budgets miss out on the most basic of search opportunities.

Kenny Hyder
Mar 02, 2010

Richard: Great insight. If the St. Regis were to get wind of this post, I hope they'd call me ;)

But you are right, we have all made our mistakes along the way. It is just surprising to me to see such big opportunities not capitalized on in today's world where most are at least somewhat informed about online marketing, or if not informed, know they ought to be. It just serves as an example for the rest of us to keep our heads up and eyes open. :)

Christina Gammon
Mar 02, 2010

Excellent example! I have one of those: One night I was watching How I Met Your Mother and it was about them all starting to smoke again. I went to Facebook, found the page for the show, and posted how I felt about the episode and a link to my article: How I Stopped Smoking. It really helped my traffic. I would love to hear your results with this article. Great job!

Mar 03, 2010

Great post and great message, when we have the opportunity, we must capitalize on the potential traffic. Webmasters need to stay on their feet and remain attentive at all times, so that they can capitalize on spikes.

Traffic (2000) Movie Trailer
Mar 04, 2010

[...] to differentiate it from normal life. c. Quality: The content creator should ensure that the contentTraffic (2000) - An article that fails to attract attention is like a movie or TV series that doesn't have [...]

Marketing and Advertising
Mar 05, 2010

Fantastic way of presenting the idea.Actually the name of the game of this Competitive market is the QUICK RESPONSIVENESS and the on time service delivery.If one is engaged in the Website Marketing or dealing in a restaurant in both case if Provider is not aware how the changes occurs and how the customers responding to the change,you will not get success in the market.

Mar 12, 2014

This is very useful information shared here. I am really thankful for this.

Brand Innovation
Oct 15, 2014

Thank you for sending such a great message through this blog. If you really want to succeed than you must understand that who is your targeted audience and how do they respond. What they actually want and what you are actually providing.

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