He’s done it again. Timo Kohlenberg, the boyish and adventurous president and CEO of America Unlimited, the Hannover, Germany-based USA specialist, has launched a promotional campaign using the highly negative impact on travel consumers of the Trump brand and, playing on the meaning of the word, “trump,” is turning it into a catchy hook that is registering with Germans.
When last we checked, Kohlenberg, who studied marketing in both London and New York before joining the family-owned firm that he now runs, was cited in the travel trade media along with other German operators lamenting the impact of U.S. President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and immigration-related proposals on travel to the United States.
A practitioner of what is described as “stunt marketing,” which is seen in everything from the splashy America Unlimited van he drives around Hannover and showcases at trade shows to a six-story banner on the side of a Hannover high-rise building, as well as his own attire, Kohlenberg has developed a new consumer-and-trade campaign hinged to the meaning of the word “trump” that has generated much notice.
The essence of the promotion, he told the Inbound Report when we asked him about it, is this: “Trump means triumph in German as well. You are supposed to focus on the real trumps in America, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, instead of talking about politics.”
Continuing, he explained, “We wanted something edgy, something where people would stop and take a second look, especially with these out-of-home components, we need to get the attention in the first place. This campaign plays with the current political issue and therefore gets people’s attention a lot.”
A staple of an America Limited campaigns seems to be the billboard, which depends upon a four-to-eight second window of a motorist’s attention. Kohlenberg has the campaign slogan and one of its images, such as the Statue of Liberty, on billboards in Hamburg, Berlin, Hannover and Frankfurt.
More important than its impact on motorists is how the campaign has been received in the new media. And it has received a substantial amount of attention in both the consumer and trade media, with the coverage usually featuring an iconic image—or “trump,” he might say—in the coverage.