This ‘cation’ thing is too tired
OK, I’ve become accustomed to ‘staycation’. I think it’s an awful term but nevertheless, I’m used to it now. But I just saw that a destination is advertising ‘funcations’. I know it doesn’t make sense at first but they mean ‘fun vacation’. What on earth am I going to see next? Artcation? Eatcation? Beachcation? Cocktailcation?
Oh, I do hope not. The original ‘cation’ was, I believe, the staycation. The idea behind this – very admirable – is that you don’t have to fly to another location to enjoy a vacation, stay locally and see your local sights and enjoy your local amenities. All well and good – there are people who live in Fort Lauderdale and don’t visit the beach from one year to the next. Londoners are famous for never visiting local tourist destinations such as the Tower of London or Buckingham Palace. I’m sure that the majority of Parisiens have never been to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
A large number of Americans have cognitive difficulties. They are not mentally impaired, they just have a problem understanding certain things. And twenty percent of the American population speak a language other than English at home.
Let’s just look at that last statistic. One fifth of families in this country do not speak English when they are together in their own homes. Now let’s imagine that you have a restaurant. You completely ignore, and do not serve, one fifth of the customers who come into your establishment every evening. You completely ignore them. That would be crazy.
Staycation, funcation and all the other ‘cations’ that you have been so happy to create will probably be misunderstood - or not understood at all – by a percentage of Americans. Potential tourists from China, Europe, Asia and other continents certainly won’t understand it. Just like the restaurateur you are ignoring at least a fifth of your potential customers.
When you are creating advertising, or deciding upon your destination slogan, please remember that ‘cute’ just doesn’t work.