Monday Musings: Imagine being the captain of that ship!

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The container ship stuck in the Suez Canal has caught the attention of – well, literally everyone everywhere. Even though the situation is obviously serious in itself: the ship is blocking one of the world’s busiest waterways; it’s also brought some much-needed comic relief after a full year in lockdown.

Tik Tok and Twitter were on fire last week with users posting funny videos, memes and jokes making light of the situation. After a year of chaos and complexity, some Twitter users pointed out that this situation is refreshingly simple. “The boat? It’s just stuck. Stuff won’t go. Boat needs to be not stuck. That’s it.

It appears that all those toilet paper hoarders last year – remember them from the first few weeks of lockdown? – were actually onto something. One year later, and the world is actually at risk of running out of toilet paper.

But, it’s especially the ‘David and Goliath’ situation with a tiny excavator trying to ‘rescue’ the massive Ever Given ship that struck a chord with most of us. Who doesn’t identify with desperately fighting a massive obstacle that threatens our lives and livelihoods and just ploughing away hoping to make a difference?

As SATSA CEO David Frost told us this week as part of the #TourismLivesOn movement: “Although tourism came to a grinding halt, and a year later we are still not open – the tourism industry didn’t stop at all.”

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Image credit: News24

The tourism statistics don’t lie: our tourism ship is still very much stuck. But, we also have hundreds of thousands excavators working to make a difference and they are steadily making progress. The British and Irish Lions rugby tour will take place later this year, it has been confirmed, and will offer a much-needed boost to the local economy. 

The COVID health passports are starting to take shape across the world, and will help revive travel and tourism. In South Africa, the private health sector has started putting its weight behind a mass vaccination drive.

Although the UK’s Boris Johnson is still very much on a crusade against travel and is now even imposing a £5,000 penalty fine for anyone that travels abroad without good reason, acclaimed Telegraph journalist Oliver Smith has openly listed 16 reasons why the travel bans make no sense. And, the Netherlands is undertaking a ‘test’ holiday to see if tourism is feasible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Imagine being the captain of that ship! In the tourism industry, we don’t have to imagine, we know what it’s like. But, we also know that if we keep our eyes on the horizon, and keep grinding away, we will eventually get unstuck.

Mindful Musings

Here’s this week’s top quote to put in your pocket…

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Marketing Musings

Social media can be exhausting: a recent survey showed that social media marketing is considered to be more exhausting than scaling Mt. Everest. However, every once in a while, a social media campaign comes along that makes it all worth it.

KFC South Africa has started borrowing other brands’ taglines to highlight the fact that it has still “suspended” its own amid the coronavirus pandemic. On its Twitter account, KFC invited people to tell it which other brands’ slogan it should use #UntilWeCanFingerLickAgain.

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Some of the borrowed taglines include: “I’m lovin’ it”, “Just do it” and “Gives you wings”. When KFC took on Vodacom, “The Future Tastes Exciting”, the network provider rose to the challenge and answered: “While we all need to be ‘Streetwise’ and keep our distance from our ‘Krushers’, make sure you keep your ‘wings’ safe.”

KFC is not the first to come up with the idea of borrowing someone else’s taglines and hashtags for its own ad campaign. Even in the tourism industry, we’ve seen it happening. Romania took on the UK in one of its tourism campaigns. Entitled “We May Not Like Britain, But You’ll Love Romania”, the ads quickly went viral around the world.

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If you’re thinking of engaging in some comparative advertising, there are a few things you should take into consideration. One wrong move can set a brand up to lose customers, reputation, and even a legal battle. The best advice is to keep it fun and innocent, and remember to never pick on the little guy. For more advice, check out this great article.

What the world was musing over this past week

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Zoomed out

Tired of the endless parade of Zoom meetings? Enter Zoom Escaper, a tool that allows you to sabotage your own audio call with the urgent sounds of a barking dog, crying baby, construction noise or wind, giving you the perfect excuse to drop off a call.

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Something smells

Recovery from coronavirus can literally stink for many people who lose their sense of smell and taste. Doctors are increasingly seeing cases of parosmia — a condition that makes normal scents smell foul to the human nose — in people getting back their senses after long cases of COVID-19.

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Turn off the lights

Not Eskom this time, but Earth Hour. Cities around the world turned landmark lights off on  Saturday evening for Earth Hour, with this year’s theme highlighting the link between the destruction of nature and increasing outbreaks of diseases like COVID-19.

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COVID sniffer dogs

Dogs are the latest weapons in the fight against COVID-19. A Kempton Park canine company in Ekurhuleni is in the final stages of training its pooches to sniff out the coronavirus. 

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Back to the future

Who is the ‘last survivor’? Bizarre TikTok user claims to be trapped in 2027 and in a true Apocalypse scenario, he is all alone.

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Follow the two pizza rule

Wondering how to be most productive? The ‘two pizza rule’ is the secret to productive meetings that helped Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos become one of the world’s richest men.

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A world without newspapers?

Advertising revenue has declined at an unprecedented rate during the coronavirus pandemic. The Kansas City Newspaper this week kept its front page empty, a warning sign to the community about what might come if it ceased publication.