NOTE: I begin this post below by talking about government, but this post really isn’t about government at all.

It’s about a content marketing lesson. And it’s not just about any old content marketing lesson.

It’s a content marketing lesson that reveals the underlying, neglected reason behind why some content marketing is so powerful. (And it has nothing to do with the content itself.)

Read on and you’ll see how it all ties together.

“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ― Laurence J. Peter from “The Peter Principle”

I have heard more and more people complain this year (more than I can ever remember before) that the candidates for the Presidential race, on both sides of the aisle, are so bad that they don’t like any of the options.

I’ve heard others state that they are more disillusioned with the government than they have been in a long time. Why? They are sick of politicians who never seem to be able to come to any agreements or compromises.

Knowing that this is how many people feel these days, Jetblue decided to create a video experiment to see if people could cooperate and compromise.

The Surprise for a Group of Airline Passengers


Jetblue decided to surprise a plane full of people by telling them that, if they all could all agree on the same location to go to, then they would all get a free round-trip ticket to that destination.

Jetblue described it like this….

“From the capital to the campaign trail, political partisanship and a contentious election make disagreement feel like the new normal. It is clear that the country is divided. Or is it? Can compromises be made for the greater good? See what happens when unsuspecting JetBlue customers are tasked with putting aside personal differences to reach across the aisle.”

Now watch the video below to see what happened…

Reach Across the Aisle – Jetblue

An Overlooked Content Marketing Lesson from JetBlue

I thought the video was cool, although I am not sure that people on a plane coming to a compromise is really a great analogy for compromise or cooperation between government leaders.

First of all, government leaders don’t always agree on the same destination they want to arrive at. And even when they do agree on the same destination, they don’t agree on the same vehicle that will get them there!

But I still think there is a content marketing lesson we can learn from this Jetblue video.

Let me explain. You probably have heard of newsjacking.

In a post on by Mark Sherbin called Newsjacking: 6 Tips to Help Your Branded Content Use the News, Mark defined Newsjacking in this way…

Newsjacking is the process of injecting your brand into the day’s news, creating a twist that grabs eyes when they’re open widest.

Based on this definition, you can see that Jetblue used newsjacking to come up with the idea for this video.

But they did something more than just “jack” the news. And that’s where the content marketing lesson I want to share with you today comes into play.

Content Marketing: How Action Makes Your Words Speak Louder

When most of us think of content we only think of it in terms of text, audio, or video. And that leads us to think that powerful content marketing is all about the content itself.

But what we don’t realize is that some of the most powerful content marketing is born not from the content itself, but from what the content is about.

Think about Jetblue’s video again.

They didn’t just create content by “jacking” the news. They created it by creating a situation where they had something to create content about.

That means that if we want the content marketing we create about our business to go to the next level, then that task doesn’t begin with the content.

It begins with us thinking of things our business could do that are worth creating content about.

In fact, I believe that that’s the way that the companies who have created some of the most powerful content marketing these days have thought about content.

You want proof? Ok. Take a look at the example below.

Dove Real Beauty Sketches

In one of the most famous Dove films, called Real Beauty Sketches they explore the gap between how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves.

In the video, each woman is the subject of two portraits drawn by FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora: one based on her own description, and the other using a stranger’s observations. The results are surprising and powerful…

  • Do you see what Dove did?
  • Did they just focus only on the content itself?

No! They focused FIRST on creating a situation that would be worth creating content about!

And what were the results? At the time I am writing this post, the video currently has 66,697,202 views!

Do you see now why I say that this is one of the most overlooked ways to create powerful content marketing?

This Content Marketing Strategy Has Fringe Benefits

When you focus first on doing something worth creating content about, before you focus on the content, then a surprising fringe benefit takes place: other people create content about your business too!

When you focus on something worth creating content about first, then you have indirectly given others something to write about too.

If you want an example, all you have to do is look at this post for proof.

I have written here about Jetblue and Dove (created content about their companies), because they did something worth creating content about.

If your content marketing has stalled out or plateaued, then I’d encourage you to let this Jetblue video inspire you to do the same.