Hello I’m Elinor – New at Make Happy and having a brilliant time so far!

Reading the latest happenings in the world of marketing this week I was intrigued to find news of Ryanair, the Irish budget airline, releasing a set of short TV advertisements.

My interest in Ryanair and their seeming lack of a communications strategy stems back to a previous experience with their wonderful website. Something from a bygone age, flooded with a heinous collage of banners and clashing colours, a sort of joke to the principles of UX design. Perhaps it had been a constructed part of their brand message all along, yes, we even work to save you money by having a ridiculous website. It had certainly been working to confuse customers into purchasing disguised extras (accounting for nearly a third of their income). However it seemed I, like supposedly many, didn’t care as I was scoring a £15 return flight to Dublin.

I found it oddly intriguing, the model said – even with the worst communications, the price is what always wins. It was even quite admirable that they could maintain a considerable market share with their unique take on air travel and customer service. They stood out.

However, this week the controversial airline has brought in several key changes. Extra baggage allowances and seat allocations have been introduced, and their website is now a perfectly navigable example of modern web design.

The introduction of TV ads are also a first for the company in almost 25 years. Each addresses the factors Ryanair had become best known for. In one we are presented with Dave who is trying to book the family’s flights online, the narrator remarks, ‘he seems remarkably calm, he must be on some form of muscle relaxant’.

So why the change of tune? Clearly they recognise a need to have more strings to their bow than just cheap prices. Is there a message here for marketers? Sooner or later the ‘right price, northing else matters’ model breaks?

If however you do like the sound of a challenge, they are looking to hire a new Communications Manager.