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Nok Air chief executive Patee Sarasin wanted attention for his budget airline and he got it. All it took was an age-old marketing tool, the sexy calendar.
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No, those are not Nok Air hostesses. They are Maxim models who were paid to pose for the budget airline's 2013 calendar which is creating both attention and controversy. Photo from Nok Air's Facebook page.
Nok Air’s attention-getting calendar
Nok Air chief executive Patee Sarasin wanted attention for his budget airline and he got it.
All it took was an age-old marketing tool, the sexy calendar.
Patee's idea for Nok Air's calendar was to pose beautiful women wearing bikinis and skimpy clothing in front of the carrier's jets.
Sexy calendars featuring celebrity superstars or promoting products like alcoholic beverages or women's lingerie are commonplace and create little attention. Sexy calendars promoting an airline serving the general public – men, women, mothers, fathers, children, grandmothers and grandfathers – are not.
Thus, Mr Patee's calendar created both attention – and a bit of controversy. The Ministry of Culture accused the airline of "lacking a sense of social and cultural responsibility".
There may be some truth in that, but the interest in Nok Air's calendar has been overwhelming
More than 6,000 "likes" appeared in the first hour after teaser photos were posted on the airline's Facebook page on Feb 8. The number has since soared to about 200,000.
Nok Air produced 3,000 calendars and 300 will be offered as part of an online promotion to its Facebook members through a random selection to be announced on Friday.
Some customers have asked to buy them in bulk and have them shipped overseas. "I reckon at least 100,000 people want one of the calendars, even well-respected types," said Mr Patee, though the airline does not plan to have more calendars printed.
As for the criticism, Mr Patee is unperturbed.
"These pictures of ours are no more exotic than what is already on the magazine stands," he said.
He stressed that the calendar models are not Nok Air cabin attendants and the airline is not portraying them as such.
Plans are already underway for the 2014 calendar. Mr Patee gave no details, but did promise "We will surprise many people again."
Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post by Boonsong Kositchotethana.
pose – to stay in a particular position in order to be photographed วางท่าถ่ายรูป
budget airline – an airline that charges very low prices สายการบินราคาประหยัด
calendar – a printed table showing all the days, weeks and months of the year ปฏิทิน
attention – interest, especially interest that the public has in a person, event, situation etc ความสนใจ
controversy – a strong disagreement, especially about a public policy or moral issue ความขัดแย้ง ประเด็นข้อขัดแย้ง
chief executive – the person with the highest rank in a company or an organisation ผู้บริหารสูงสุด
age-old – in use for a very long time เก่าแก่
skimpy – (of clothes) very small and not covering much of your body
carrier – a company that carries goods or passengers from one place to another, especially by air บริษัทขนส่ง (โดยเฉพาะสายการบิน)
feature – to include someone or something as an important part มีบทบาทสำคัญใน
celebrity – someone who is famous, especially in the entertainment business คนมีชื่อเสียง
alcoholic beverage – a drink containing alcohol สุรา
lingerie – fashionable women's underwear เสื้อผ้าชั้นในสตรี
commonplace – common; not unusual สิ่งที่เห็นได้บ่อยๆ
accuse – to say that someone has done something wrong or committed a crime กล่าวหา
lack – to not have something needed ขาด
responsibility – a moral duty to behave in a particular way ความรับผิดชอบ
overwhelming – to be so good/bad or so great that a person cannot deal with it; to cover somebody/something completely ท่วมท้น,รุนแรงมาก
teaser – an advertisement for a product that does not mention the name of the product or say much about it but is intended to make people interested and likely to pay attention to later advertisements
soar – to rise very quickly to a high level พุ่งพรวดขึ้น
random – happening, done or chosen by chance rather than according to a plan ซึ่งไม่มีแบบแผน
selection – choice; the procession choosing การเลือก,การคัดเลือก
bulk – done in large numbers or amounts จำนวนมาก
overseas –in another country ต่างประเทศ
reckon – to think something or have an opinion about something พิจารณาว่า, ถือว่าเป็น, คำนวณ
respected – admired by many people for your qualities or achievements ที่เคารพ
criticism – comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad การวิจารณ์
unperturbed – not worried or anxious ไม่ได้กังวล
exotic – interesting or exciting because of being unusual or not familiar ผิดธรรมดา,ประหลาด
stress – to emphasise something such as an idea, fact or detail; to explain why something is important เน้น
portray – to describe or show somebody/something in a particular way, especially when this does not give a complete or accurate impression of what they are like พรรณนา, วาดภาพ
underway – happening กำลังเกิดขึ้น
detail – the small facts or features of something ส่วนเล็กๆ น้อยๆ, รายละเอียด, ส่วนย่อย