JetBlue- Flying it Forward

Grace Nesseth

JetBlue ran into problems when they discovered that they were going to have to start charging their customers for their checked bags. One of the many things that JetBlue was known for, so naturally this caused a bit of a riot from the consumers. The brand did some research, and found a new way to reach out to its customers. They came up with a strategy, “Remind them there’s so much more to humanity than freebies”, after talking to hundreds of people they realized that most of the stories that happened to people while flying had less to do with what was going on while flying, but more to do with the fliers. This brought them to their key point, “Humanity doesn’t just happen inflight, it happens in fliers.” They then created the campaign, Flying it Forward. This campaign allowed the customers to pick people that they knew who they thought deserved a flight somewhere. Once one would be chosen, they would give it to the next person. These stories were shared on their website through a video, and consumers were invited to dig deeper with a robust web and social experience.

The brand was trying to reach consumers who they potentially lost because of their new charge for checked bags, and also people who were touched by companies who had values other than just making money. They were solving the problem of the consumers that were lost due to the new bag fee, but they added the value that they cared about their customers. This reflected with their Flying it Forward campaign and struck a chord with many, who appreciated the positive things that JetBlue was doing for the community. Although the consumers did not get anything personally out of the campaign, they were able to vote for people that they thought deserved the next flight. They were also able to gain a respect that maybe was not there before for JetBlue.

It made sense for JetBlue to do this campaign because they needed to give their customers a reason to come back after the bag fees. Once the bag fees were placed there was not a whole lot separating this airline company from others. After this campaign came out customers separated them from other airline companies because they saw that JetBlue cared about the community, and wanted to do what they could to help out.

JetBlue primarily gained earned media, after their initial release of the video about Flying it Forward they received 1.5M video views, and over 2,700 shares across email, Facebook and Twitter. The public ate up this campaign and shared it everywhere. One of the biggest things about this campaign was the fact that JetBlue didn’t have the money to make this go viral on their own. They were dependent on their customers sharing their video. This was a top-down model, first sharing their video on TV and their website. After the initial reaction they then released it onto social media where the consumers took over and made it go viral. I would say that JetBlue was more target-centric making sure that their information was shared on sites and outlets that their customers were on more, and a place where it could be shared for others to view.

(JetBlue, flying, airplane, community)

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