|May 26, 2010|
|AdLand Goes to New Heights to Irritate Audience|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|The geniuses in AdLand have reached new heights (literally) in their never-ending effort to bombard Americans 24/7 with ads. |
The latest outrage: branded airline snack boxes. Passengers on a Horizon Air flight from Seattle to Portland on May 24 made history as the “first audience ever to experience the newest turn-key medium for marketers,” according to a release from Air Advertainment.
Those lucky ducks received a "21st century version of the back of cereal box, the branded container will reach the coveted demographic of airline passengers with time on their hands and few distractions," says the company.
AA assumes that reading an ad pitch is time well spent. For many, it's an incursion into their personal space. And it's limited space, indeed, as the carriers attempt to pack as many bodies as they can into their planes.
Creative Labs is a charter customer of AA's "innovation." It used the box to promote a Facebook contest to name a new video camera. Passengers were rewarded with a free bag of Stacy's pita chips and a Hershey's chocolate with a promise of a chance to win more prizes or a CL shopping spree to those who emailed or sent a text to CL upon landing.
It's all just so low-brow.
Horizon has 25K boxes that it will distribute over the next 20 days. Four other carriers are said to be interested. AA believes marketers will jump at the opportunity to reach captive and affluent consumers.
Horizon says the typical passenger on the Seattle-Portland run is a tech-savvy person who earns more than $100K a year. My guess is that the Horizon flyer could afford to buy a bag of chips or chocolate bar for the flight. He also may be more than a little irritated to be reminded by flight attendants that the free snack was brought to him by Creative Labs.
The branded box medium has a big potential to backfire. It could very well remind passengers about the nickel-and-dime cutbacks and various charges imposed by airlines that are tone-deaf to the concerns of passengers. Do marketers want to be tainted by an association with an airline?
Good customer-relations focuses on keeping travelers happy, not viewing them as another potential profit center.
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