When you’re in the business of communication, you learn through experience that there is no perfect way to send a message to the public. Regardless of your approach, there will always be those who hear your intended message loud and clear, and there will always be those on whom the message is lost. For JetBlue Airlines, the particularly unique nature of their latest marketing campaign makes a mixed public reaction all the more inevitable.


Anybody who has traveled by plane is likely all too familiar with the discomfort that commonly comes with air travel. Flights are crowded, seats are cramped, people are cranky — it’s hardly the recipe for a pleasant travel experience.


Despite the widespread familiarity of this dismal reality, we don’t often see airlines highlighting the negative aspects of traveling by plane. It’s not unexpected, since it’s counterproductive for airlines to use the most dreadful aspects of flying to market it.


JetBlue doesn’t see it this way, though. The airline has zeroed in on this untapped marketing territory to create a unique and unusual campaign. The campaign features a series of humorous videos that address major flight etiquette mishaps in an effort to promote dialogue on the topic and encourage passengers to be more considerate of one another when flying.


The videos make fun of common situations like trying to get to the bathroom without waking up the passengers sitting next to you, or dealing with a stranger falling asleep on your shoulder. While JetBlue exaggerates these situations a bit for comic purposes, it does a pretty good job of covering common crises of flight etiquette.


Again, this is an extremely unique approach. While most airlines tackle their marketing campaigns by glamorizing flying, JetBlue has taken a new route entirely. For some, it’s a novel approach that comes off as more of a failed effort than a success. These audiences feel like all the videos succeed at doing is reminding viewers of how miserable it can be to fly — a reaction that isn’t likely to generate much business.


However, other audiences take away an entirely different message from the videos. JetBlue’s campaign can actually be seen as a positive message to consumers by which it not only connects on a comical level, but at a very honest and personal level, as well. These videos demonstrate to flyers that JetBlue understands their struggles, and that it has a commitment to trying to encourage change.


Through this truthful, realistic representation of flying, JetBlue steers clear of representing the ideal travel experience in its marketing and instead takes a step towards creating the ideal travel experience in reality.


Do you think JetBlue’s Flight Etiquette Campaign is a successful marketing strategy or a failed effort? Share your thoughts below or tweet me @tamarahoumi