Our country is divided. And jetBlue won’t stand for that. So they recently surprised a plane full of people and asked them to find common ground on a highly divisive issue: where to go on vacation.
As part of the stunt, dubbed “Reach Across The Aisle,” jetBlue promised to fly passengers to a dream destination for free. The catch: everyone had to agree on where they were going. Shockingly, the 150 strangers reached a compromise faster than the 114th Congress (their flight from Boston to Phoenix was about six hours).
While there’s two things you don’t talk about in polite conservation — politics and religion — going somewhat political worked for jetBlue. The video has racked up around 800,000 views in the past week and over 40 news articles have been written about it.
Here’s what Elizabeth Windram, the airline’s director of brand management and advertising, had to say to Adweek:
We’ve seen so much news coverage lately that paints the picture of a society becoming increasingly polarized and politicians incapable of working together. This video is our way of questioning that assumption.
While the video isn’t really the grand social experiment it’s purported to be, here’s what I liked about it: jetBlue took a risk. Many brands would be too scared to even acknowledge today’s political climate, much less build an idea around it. Chrysler has sort of done the same with their most recent ad featuring former “presidents” Martin Sheen and Bill Pullman.
The big question for jetBlue now is this: how can they take this one big hit beyond being a one-hit wonder? How can they sustain their content success and re-engage the audience to build relationships? Answering the repeat engagement question will be perhaps the most important factor in determining whether consumers decide to vote with their wallets.