Unusual Weather Inspires Offbeat Promotion By Chicago-Area Travel Agency

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Don Buynack, president of OptionsTravel.com in Des Plains, IL, announces a new offbeat advertisement billed as "The El Niño Winter Sale."

The El Niño Winter Sale

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It's said that everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it. Well, one local travel agency decided to do something about the unusually warm winter that's hurting business.

The result is an offbeat advertisement billed as "The El Niño Winter Sale" that has many Chicagoans smiling.

"Sick and tired of 59º winter days?" the ad asks. "Escape the winter heat wave with travel deals to famous cold spots such as International Falls, MN and Fairbanks, AK." Readers are then encouraged to visit the website GlobalWarmingGetaways.com.

The promotion is the brainchild of Don Buynack, president of OptionsTravel.com in Des Plains, IL, who decided to have some fun and maybe drum up a little business at the same time (see a copy of the ad at http://www.optionstravel.com/holiday/special_6.pdf ).

"Usually at this time of year we're running ads encouraging people to travel south to escape the bitter Chicago winter," says Buynack. "Well this year, there is no bitter Chicago winter. Instead of shivering and bundling up, people are out playing golf and having picnics. It's crazy! I don't know what's going on, whether it's El Niño or greenhouse gases or Al Gore. All I can tell you is, it's not good for business."

So Options Travel decided to turn lemons into lemonade.

During a brainstorming session, the idea came up that maybe there are a men and women who actually miss winter. That became the central theme of the promotion, as well as the inspiration for the destination choices (where average January temperatures range from 6º F to -8º F). The copy calls out to people who long for "the joys of a bracing wind, frostbite toes, and snow down your back."

Not to leave anyone out, the ad also offers choices for those "who insist on even warmer weather than Chicago." Visitors to the web site will also find fun travel information about the cold weather destinations featured in the ad.

Founded in 1993, OptionsTravel.com provides both online and offline travel services to leisure travelers, and travel management and support to corporate clients. Don Buynack is available for interviews.


Don Buynack

847-803-4444 ext. 100

847-774-8886 (cell)


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