June 12, 2015 Kevin Erb

Up in the air

Commercial flying – the worst, right? Herded like cattle into increasingly smaller seats, nickel-and-dimed on every little aspect of the experience, flights constantly delayed or cancelled…we could keep going.

dogSo what could we possibly learn from airlines when it comes to marketing? A lot, actually, especially when it comes to how some of them are approaching an often-overlooked part of the flying experience.

We speak of the in-flight safety video, of course! For years, airlines paid little attention to these videos, communicating to passengers only what was required by the FAA, without any concern for the tone or personality of the video. Consequently, the videos had no personality.

And most in-flight safety videos, to be sure, still have no style or identity. Over the past few years, however, an increasing number of airlines are recognizing the incredibly unique opportunities these situations present and infusing their in-flight safety videos with a refreshing dose of personality and humor.

What makes these opportunities so unique and, from a marketer’s perspective, prized? Well, the entirely captive audience is rare, of course, and you can certainly use the very low expectations of that audience to your advantage by surprising and delighting with a humorous video.

What does this all mean for you? Ideally, and assuming you’re not in the airline industry, it means you’re already busy thinking of nontraditional touchpoints you have with your customers – and you’re thinking of ways you can add a flair of creativity, personality and even humor to them.

We spend so much time – and rightfully so – focusing on our traditional marketing efforts that we can overlook unconventional ones that offer a rare opportunity to stand out and connect on an emotional level with customers. And that emotional connection, as we know, can be worth more to brands than an unexpected bump up to first class.