Absurdly Driven usually looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
These days, I can only think about the future.
The past is nicely put away and the present is something I'd like to get past.
Focusing on tomorrow, then, seems more heartwarming. Or, at least, it should be.
However, I'm becoming increasingly concerned about how brands will be talking to customers in the future.
Last week, I wrote about how Hilton is taking the intiative by embracing the idea that its hotels will represent the apogee of cleanliness.
There's something quaintly sad about choosing a hotel on the basis of how many potentially harmful germs it has. Yet here we are.
Now, I've been struck by the intentions of Hawaii.
What once was a symbol of a certain serene paradise now intends to present itself in a very particular way.
As the Honolulu Star Advertiser reports, the state intends to market itself as "the safest place on Earth."
This is both curiously nerve-shivering and oddly risky.
The basis for the claim is Hawaii's relatively low incidence of Covid-19 infection.
Said the state's Lt. Gov. Josh Green:
We have the secondary benefit when this ends -- and it will end, whether it's this fall or next spring -- of being able to say we were the safest, healthiest state in the country, and maybe destination in the world, and I think that's really going to speed up our recovery, too.
I wonder what New Zealand might have to say about this. Its government insists the country is entirely free of the virus.
Moreover, once you invite visitors from other states, can you be sure that they aren't asymptomatic carriers who'll be spreading the virus?
Hawaii insists it's always been known as a safe destination. Some locals differ on exactly how safe it ever was -- even before the pandemic.
It's one thing, though, to have a reputation for safety. It's quite another to make that the prime reason for visiting.
Delivering on that promise can drift onto uncertain ground and, indeed, Mufi Hannemann, president of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, insists the marketing won't begin immediately.
Still, this move offers a portentous indication for all marketers of experiences -- whether restaurants or bars, cities or states. Somehow, you'll have to persuade people that participating is safe.
Marketing to the fearful is a difficult task.
Then again, making them feel safe might be a better option that actually telling them you're safe.
Trust is a very tricky concept right now.