Published on October 21, 2010

Examples of Great Advertising 1: JetBlue’s YouTube Campaign

American airline JetBlue this week launched a new, YouTube-based advertising campaign poking gentle fun at the catering , customer service and operational practices of rival airlines.

The hidden camera-style ads see members of the public receiving inadequate, overpriced and bizarre goods and services from a street vendor, a New York taxi driver and an elevator operator- whose customer service approaches, the ads suggest, mirror those of other airlines. Customers attempting to buy a can of soft drink are presented with a small, half-full plastic cup, on a basis that a whole can would mean “there wouldn’t be enough for everyone,” while unwitting cab passengers are faced either with a $25 surcharge in addition to their standard fare or severely reduced legroom as their driver reclines his seat further and further into the back of the car. Elevator users, meanwhile, are left alternately bemused and infuriated as their operator compels their lift to stop at every point between the first and the 32nd floor, since theirs “is not a non-stop elevator.” Each ad concludes by urging customers to demand more from their airline- “if you wouldn’t take it on the ground, don’t take it in the air”- and finally by reiterating JetBlue’s commitment to customer service by means of its “You Above All” slogan.            

As an exercise in brand augmentation, the ad series works beautifully, neatly conveying JetBlue’s customer-first approach while subtly denigrating the shortcomings of its competitors. Perhaps more importantly, it is memorable- engaging its audience by encouraging us to think twice about customer-unfriendly practices (like restrictive seating and excess baggage charges) we might otherwise accept as standard.

View the ads online here.

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