Hilarious Unfinished Business Stock Photos Have a Point

A Few Takeaways for the Travel Industry

I know, I know, it’s just a publicity stunt. But the now ubiquitous Unfinished Business photos with Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco and crew mocking corporate stock photography, actually got me thinking about the way companies have become accustomed to interacting with their customers. Here are a few serious takeaways from the comedic campaign.

“Team work makes the dream work.”

1). Innovative marketing. There’s a reason the photos are funny: it’s because nobody likes stock photography, especially the corporate kind.  The Unfinished Business campaign itself was a fresh marketing initiative—and great promotional partnership between the movie marketers and iStock—but it also highlights the need for us to move on from the stale old marketing that’s become the standard. Hotels, you know what I’m talking about. Everyone has the same shots with the same lighting and the same copy on every hotel website. It’s past time for innovation in travel marketing.


2). Taking it all too seriously. We all want to appear professional and smart, but there are ways to do it without being so sobering all the time. Super Bowl ads are a great example. The companies that go out of their way to be funny, to get a laugh or at least a smile, get more attention. Loosen up, have some fun. Isn’t that what travel is all about at the end of the day?


3). Trash the canned responses. So many hotels are still cutting and pasting responses to travel reviews. This is akin to using corporate stock photography. What travelers want is real people and real responses (even if they want it online and crazy fast), and giving them stock photography instead of authenticity leaves a bad impression. A TripAdvisor study found that 84% of travelers had better impressions of a hotel when the property responded “appropriately” to bad reviews. Responding appropriately requires crafting a unique response to each guest’s review.

Excuse me, now, while I go pose, arms folded, with several of my suited-up colleagues.